Boyd County school officials approve alternate club schedule

BY admin

August 20 2003 12:00 AM ET

School officials in Boyd County, Ky., have approved a new club meeting policy that differs from a federal judge's ruling that allowed the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet during school hours. The board of education in Boyd County voted Monday to restrict all club meeting times to before and after school. The board said it plans to ask the judge to lift the injunction, which was issued in a lawsuit filed by the Gay-Straight Alliance at Boyd County High School. "I don't think [the policy] either comports with the [federal Equal Access] Act or the judge's order," said James Esseks, an attorney with the American
Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. The ACLU is representing the club in its suit, which it filed in January. It accuses the district of violating the act by letting some clubs meet while not
allowing the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet. The school continues to treat the club differently from other school activities, Esseks said.

Under the school's new policy, some activities--including sports and academic teams--would be excused during school hours for trips to competitions. The board has been working on the policy since late last year, said board chairwoman Sheri Bryan. "We've worked very closely with our attorneys and, hopefully, can make [the policy] congenial to all parties," Bryan said. The ACLU had drafted a club policy proposal, which it presented to the district's attorneys in June. The proposal defined curricular and noncurricular clubs and addressed equal access issues, an ACLU spokeswoman said. The district hasn't commented on that proposal, Esseks said. School board attorney Kim McCann would not say when the motion would be filed.

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