Student Discouraged in Effort to Form GSA

By Josh Hinkle

Originally published on Advocate.com February 27 2012 5:26 PM ET

A gay student at Wilson Central High School in Wilson, Tenn., filed a request to form a gay-straight alliance at his high school, but one month after filing the request, Bauman has seen no action from his school board.

Student Chris Bauman submitted his request to form the group, along with a list of students willing to join, at the beginning of the spring semester according to The Tennessean. He is now requesting responses from school officials on the lack of approval. "The feeling I had from them today was that they want me to stop and let it fade away," Bauman told The Tennessean after he spoke with his principal last Wednesday.

Bauman faces barriers from more than just his school's principal. Greg Lasater, a Wilson school board member and the school's resource officer, told The Tennessean, "If I had to vote, just from my own Christian values — nothing against these folks — it would be hard for me as a board member to support it."

Federal law does prohibit these kinds of obstructions when forming a club. Under the Equal Access Act of 1984, if a school allows student clubs to form, it must allow all kinds of clubs to be represented.