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.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Did You Hear?
The Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros put on their Wild West Shows with family-friendly jokes and stunts performed by vaudeville-type characters like those popular at the turn of the century.
According to a swimwear seller, picking the best swimsuit for you comes down to three things.
What happens if you beat the tough odds and hold the winner Powerball ticket? You celebrate. Then what?
More Litchfield Park News
A retired teacher in Waddell is hoping to spread some knowledge, and at no cost.