LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ - Litchfield Park Elementary's Harvest Festival is being targeted for an anti-gay bullying protest. Protest organizer Merik Castro said the event will help spotlight his six-month fight against the school district for a new bullying policy.
Castro said his plight began in May after he himself was bullied.
"They pushed me up against a locker and said several gay slurs against me," he recounted.
According to Litchfield Elementary District spokesperson Anne Donahue, three students were punished after the incident.
"Two were suspended and the third received in-house suspension," Donahue explained
But Castro said he wants more, "I want a zero tolerance anti-gay policy."
Donahue said the district listened to Castro and adopted the state's expanded bullying police which includes sexual orientation, "but Merik wants LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender specific references in the policy and we just can't do that. That's a state-level issue."
Castro is now planning a protest at 2 p.m. in front of district offices.
But while Donahue admires Castro's organizational skills and persistence, she says he's taking the plight too far. "We feel like we're being bullied. We've taken action and it's time to stop."
After consulting an attorney, the superintendent drew up a cease and desist order against Castro to block the flood of emails that have been coming into the district's offices.
"I've received over 175 emails and the superintendent has received 500 emails with just one line, 'Please Reply' to Merik's September email," said Donahue.
Stay with ABC15.com for updates throughout the day.
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