Statement regarding the U.S. Justice Department motion to intervene in the federal lawsuit pending against Mohawk Central School District

MOHAWK, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Mohawk Central School District is now being investigated by the United States Justice Department because of a gay rights suit. The district posted this following on their website:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15 -- The United States Justice Department has filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit pending against the Mohawk Central School District. The New York Civil Liberties filed the lawsuit in August on behalf of a student, alleging the district did’t do enough to protect him from bullying and harassment. A judge will now need to decide whether to accept or deny that motion.

“The Mohawk Central School District cooperated fully with representatives of the U.S. Justice Department back in December when they indicated an interest in this case,” said Superintendent of Schools Joyce Caputo. “We’ll continue to cooperate with them and welcome any recommendations they may provide as we go forward.

“While the district cannot comment on the details of a pending lawsuit, our staff and administration are committed to doing everything in their power to prevent bullying and promote tolerance. We live in both a state and a nation that are becoming increasingly diverse,” Caputo noted. “Our school leadership is open to new ideas and recommendations on how it can take a more proactive role in teaching respect and appreciation for that diversity.”

In fact, the Mohawk Central School District has already conducted staff development programs on this topic and put a number of new anti-bullying programs and supports into place in the past year. Additional initiatives are currently in the planning and development stage.

Caputo indicated the pending federal lawsuit is close to a settlement.

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