Editor’s Note: This story was originally posted at 6:01 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2021. It has been updated with new reporting from KSNT.
KSNT reported Wednesday night that 13-year-old USD 251 North Lyon County student Izzy Dieker was suspended from NLC Elementary School bus after saying “I’m a lesbian.”
Late last week, The Emporia Gazette was contacted in regard to this story by an individual who wished to remain anonymous.
Principal Corey Wiltz would not comment on the situation. Superintendent Bob Blair would not speak on this situation specifically, but gave a statement regarding discrimination policies via email.
“As you are aware, USD 251 is unable to discuss confidential student matters in order to protect the privacy rights of our students. Our school district takes all allegations of discrimination of any kind seriously and will respond meaningfully to any report of discrimination. All such complaints are promptly investigated,” he said.
Dieker, who is in eighth grade, told KSNT that the bus driver overheard her comment and issued a written disciplinary notice. Her mother, Tasha Cooper, has tried to communicate with the school administration but has not gotten a satisfactory response.
According to an anonymous source who contacted The Gazette, Principal Corey Wiltz was also involved in the decision to suspend Dieker from the bus.
Fellow students and teachers have expressed their support for Dieker, including Michael Lanzrath, the district’s library aide and a member of the LGBT community, who made pins out of rainbow ribbons because he would have wanted that kind of support when he was Dieker’s age.
The Gazette will continue to report on this story.