Originally published on Advocate.com December 16 2003 12:00 AM ET
Seven high school students in Colorado Springs, Colo., filed suit in federal court on Friday against their school for refusing to recognize a gay-straight alliance as an official school club, the Rocky Mountain News reports. "More than 50 high schools in Colorado--and many times this number nationally--have GSAs, almost all formed and recognized without litigation or controversy," the lawsuit read. Colorado Springs School District 11 spokeswoman Elaine Naleski said she had not yet seen the lawsuit. She told the Rocky Mountain News that administrators at Palmer High School had decided not to recognize clubs that aren't curriculum-related. "Therefore, based on that criteria, they have denied this club recognition as a school-sponsored club," Naleski said.
The students' lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, said some of the officially recognized clubs at Palmer High are not related to the curriculum. Among the more than 30 recognized student organizations announced at the beginning of the school year are the cheerleaders, chess club, dance-drill team, Frisbee club, mountain bike club, and Student Activists, according to the lawsuit.
The seven students in the Palmer GSA have asked repeatedly for official recognition, which lets clubs use the school public-address system, meet at the school, post information at the school, use school
computers and other equipment, and be photographed as an organization for the yearbook. A Palmer High faculty member has agreed to sponsor the alliance if it is approved as an official school club.