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Grants Pass educators still suing school district after their termination was reversed

Science teacher Katie Medart (L) and assistant principal Rachel Damiano of North Middle School (R) in a screenshot from a video on the webpage for their campaign against school policies meant to accommodate transgender students.

The Grants Pass School District is still facing a lawsuit by two educators who were fired in July, despite a school board vote last Tuesday to reinstate them.

Rachel Damiano and Katie Medart were fired after they were found to have used school time and resources to work on their “I Resolve” campaign. The campaign seeks to roll back school protections for transgender students.

In July, Grants Pass School District Superintendent, Kirk Kolb recommended Damiano and Medart be fired. The board voted 4 to 3 to do so. Board member Cliff Kuhlman was the tiebreaker, despite seeming confused at some of the proceedings.

The women sued the district through the Sacramento-based, conservative legal nonprofit Pacific Justice Institute.

Last Tuesday the board reversed course and voted 4 to 3 to reinstate them. Despite the reversal, the Pacific Justice Institute says the lawsuit will continue, in order to protect the teachers’ free speech rights.

The school district issued a statement that personnel matters are confidential and it will not be commenting on the reinstatement.

Sophia Prince is a reporter and producer for JPR News. She began as JPR’s 2021 summer intern through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in journalism and international studies.