« Gallery | Desmond Child, Curtis Shaw and sons Roman and Nyro premiere 'TWO' at gay film festival | Main | Former student recants sex allegations against victim Vincent Pravata, pleads guilty to his murder »

ACLU sues Lake County, Fla., school board over gay-straight alliance club

ASSOCIATED PRESS

OCALA, Fla. -- The American Civil Liberties Union sued a Florida school board Wednesday, claiming its delay in allowing the formation of a gay-straight alliance club at a middle school is a violation of free speech and equal access.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit against the School Board of Lake County in federal court in Ocala.

Efforts by eighth-grader Bayli Silbertstein to form a student club for gay students and their straight allies at Carver Middle School have been repeatedly delayed by the school board. The board's failure to give her a definitive answer on whether the club can be formed is tantamount to a denial and that denial violates the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit said.

"This non-response amounts to a de facto denial," the lawsuit said.

Also named in the lawsuit were the Lake County school superintendent and the principal of the middle school.

When Silberstein applied to start the Gay-Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School last November, the school's principal told her she needed to consult the school board. Last February, the school board held a public workshop on whether clubs without a direct tie to the curriculum could be held at middle and high schools, and in March the board gave tentative approval to the measure, a decision which would have given the green light to the gay-straight club, the lawsuit said.

A vote to give final approval to the measure was tabled at a school board meeting last week.

A spokesman for Lake County Schools said he couldn't comment on a pending lawsuit. But Chris Patton said the school board wanted to review the policy again after a change was made to state law defining which schools are subject to a federal law prohibiting discrimination of clubs based on what they may discuss. Another workshop is planned for Monday.

"This has been an ongoing process," Patton said.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b26169e201901bbf990d970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference ACLU sues Lake County, Fla., school board over gay-straight alliance club:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks for posting this!
Some closely related stories are here:
--Lake County School Board Member Questions 14-Year-Old Student’s Sexual Orientation (http://www.youthallies.com/school-board-member-questions-14-year-old-students-sexual-orientation/)
--After School Board Blocks GSA, Board Member Tells LGBT Youth Allies, “The Board Has Not Blocked the GSA.” (http://www.youthallies.com/lake-county-school-board-blocks-gay-straight-alliance-board-member-denies-blocking-gsa/)

The background story that led to these stories is here:
http://www.youthallies.com/gay-straight-alliances-in-middle-school-florida/
Mike

Sharing everywhere asking people to help...at least reminding them..
'If nothing else YOU should all join ACLU wherever you live to help them fight for YOUR Civil Rights'!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment