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Forest Hills School Board reaches settlement in 'Culture of Kindness' lawsuit

Zack Carreon

More than a year after a group of parents and students filed a lawsuit against Forest Hills School District Board of Education, the two parties have settled.

The lawsuit was filed against the board after the group claimed the board's controversial "Culture of Kindness" resolution violated their First and Fourteenth amendment rights. The resolution passed by the board in June 2022 banned assignments where students would have to consider their race, socioeconomic class, religion, gender identity, or sexuality.

RELATED: Forest Hills School District will not enforce controversial resolution, for now

Days after the lawsuit was filed, the board agreed it would not enforce the resolution while the lawsuit was in the courts, but the group's attorney says the board hadn't stuck to its word.

After claiming the resolution was an unenforceable "statement of belief" and making multiple requests to have the case dismissed before the lawsuit could move any further, a federal judge denied the board's request and decided to move forward with the case.

The judge wrote that the "Culture of Kindness" resolution used "mandatory language" and stated the board's claim the resolution would not be enforced defied logic and basic conventions of the English language.

On Thursday morning, attorneys from both parties met and informed the court that they had reached a settlement and expected to have the case dismissed by the end of the year.

RELATED: Forest Hills superintendent stands by decision to paint over student-created diversity mural

Neither of the attorneys has commented on the details of the settlement.

WVXU requested a comment from a spokesperson for the Forest Hills School District but did not receive a response.

The Forest Hills School Board will hold its next committee meeting at 1 p.m. Monday and will hold a regular board meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.