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Central Bucks School District hires law firm to investigate claims of LGBTQ discrimination


The Central Bucks School Board on Tuesday hired a Philadelphia-based law firm to conduct an “internal investigation” of a federal complaint of discriminatory school district policies and practices.

In a 6-3 vote, the board approved hiring Duane Morris, McSwain and Rinaldi to launch the investigation. Attorneys Bill McSwain, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Michael Rinaldi, Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit, also in the Eastern District, will head the investigation, said school board president Dana Hunter, in a community newsletter.

“Both Mr. McSwain and Mr. Rinaldi have decades of investigative experience and are well-suited to serve and advise the Board as it works to ensure a safe learning environment for all the district’s children,” said Hunter.

The district did not release details of its contract with the law firm or disclose the cost.

McSwain ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year, garnering 15.8 percent of the vote. In his campaign videos, the lawyer said, “The radical left wants our schools to indoctrinate our children to believe that America is a racist country. I will ensure that our schools teach the founding principles that have made America the greatest country in history.” He also defended the Boy Scouts in its anti-gay ban, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Responding to a social media post by the West Chester Area School District Gay-Straight Alliance Club, McSwain wrote, “This ends when I’m governor,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Last month, the ACLU Pennsylvania filed a 72-page complaint on behalf of seven CBSD students to the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice department. It asserted that district policies and practices created a “toxic” environment for LGBTQ pupils and staff who support them.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights said it will continue investigating the ACLU complaint, stressing that its role is one “fact-finding” and does not indicate support of the discrimination and harassment claims.

The school board majority has consistently denied the district discriminates against LGBTQ students.

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