Scroll To Top

Lubbock school district sued for barring gay-straight alliance

Lubbock school district sued for barring gay-straight alliance

The Lubbock school district violated a federal access law and students' constitutional rights when it barred a group from forming a Gay Straight Alliance on a high school campus, a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges. Ricky Waite, who graduated from Lubbock High School in May, helped organize the alliance last fall, but the group's application to meet on school premises during noninstructional time was denied by school officials in December, the suit says. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the lawsuit in Lubbock federal court. The suit claims the district violated the Equal Access Act, which prohibits secondary schools receiving federal funds and allowing noncurricular student groups to meet on campus from discriminating against any groups based on their viewpoints. The students were discriminated against by district officials in actions that violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Act, the suit claims. The district's stance against students forming the alliance also violates the school's own policy, the suit claims. District rules state it "shall not prohibit student expression solely because other students, teachers, administrators, or parents may disagree with its content." Lambda has successfully argued two similar cases in California and Utah, which set precedent on the issue. There are now more than 1,200 such groups at schools nationwide. A Dallas attorney representing two members of the Lubbock alliance referred in a press release to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down Texas's sodomy law. That ruling "called for gays to be given full respect, equality, and dignity from government institutions," Brian Chase said in the release. "Lubbock High School runs afoul of that by treating this group differently simply because it supports gay students."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories Editors