Testimony given in Boyd County, Ky., case
BY Advocate.com Editors
March 20 2003 12:00 AM ET
In arguments held in federal court Tuesday and Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to order that all clubs at Kentucky's Boyd County High School, including the Gay-Straight Alliance, be allowed to meet. The ACLU is arguing that the Boyd County school board's decision to ban all clubs is an unconstitutional attempt to shut out students who sought to form the GSA and violates federal and state law.
"Public schools are bound by law to treat all clubs equally," said Tamara Lange, staff attorney for the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. "By banning all clubs and then letting a handful of the ones they favor get around that ban, Boyd County High School seems to think it's above the law. It isn't, and we're confident that the judge will see that."
The ACLU presented testimony from the principal as well as students and the faculty adviser of the GSA that other clubs at the school--including the drama club, student council, and cheerleading and sports teams--have continued to meet in violation of the school's supposed suspension of all school
The hearing is expected to conclude Wednesday with testimony from school officials claiming that disruption at the school by people objecting to the GSA justifies suspending the club. "Under the First Amendment, schools can't deny students' rights to free speech just because a bunch of other people don't like what they're saying, no matter how vocal the opposition is," said Jeff Vessels, executive
director of the ACLU of Kentucky. "Blocking the GSA because some students and parents are against it unfairly penalizes the GSA members for peacefully expressing their opinions and doesn't penalize the people who are actually disrupting the educational process."
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- Op-ed: Don't Worry, Tom Daley's Getting Biphobic Tweets, Too
- WATCH: The Best From 6 Olympic Gay Divers
- Op-ed: Stop Judging Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black
- New Celeb Couple: Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley
- Gay News, LGBT Rights, Politics, Entertainment | The Advocate
- Sports WATCH: The Best From 6 Olympic Gay Divers 37 min 56 sec ago
- Commentary Op-ed: Stop Judging Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black 1 hour 41 min ago
- Bisexual Op-ed: Don't Worry, Tom Daley's Getting Biphobic Tweets, Too 2 hours 42 min ago
- Women WATCH: Lesbian-Themed Web Series 'Kelsey' - Kelsey Gets All Kinds of Action December 04 2013 8:27 PM
- Travel Out Traveler Awards: Best Cruise Line? December 04 2013 7:42 PM
- Society Making LGBT Spirits Bright This Holiday Season December 04 2013 7:41 PM
- Women PHOTOS: Oxford University's Women's Rugby Club Bares All for Charity December 04 2013 7:25 PM