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DOJ seeks role in suit against NDNY school

PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Justice has opposed a northern New York school district’s attempt to have a former student’s anti-gay-bias lawsuit dismissed in federal court.

The Justice Department filed a motion in U.S. District Court on Friday to participate as a friend of the court in a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by former student Charles Pratt against the Indian River Central School District near Watertown.

Pratt sued in April 2009, claiming he was harassed before he dropped out of high school when he was 15 years old.

The district has filed a motion to dismiss the action. The Justice Department disagrees with key reasons the district believes the suit should be dismissed. The court has not decided whether to allow justice officials to join the case.