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Gay club wins
recognition at Chicago charter school

Gay club wins
recognition at Chicago charter school

The Noble Street GSA will finally be guaranteed a place on the campus of Noble Street Charter School in Chicago.

The Noble Street Gay Straight Alliance will finally be guaranteed a place on the campus of Noble Street Charter School in Chicago, according to a settlement agreement reached in in federal court on Wednesday. The settlement ends a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal seeking equal treatment for the school club.

"Now the students participating in the GSA will be able to fulfill their mission of having a club to promote awareness, safety, respect, and tolerance of all sexual orientations in a nonjudgmental environment," said James Madigan, staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest regional office in Chicago.

Under the agreement, the GSA will be able to advertise its meetings across campus, have access to classrooms in the high school for meetings and events, and be included in the high school yearbook.

"This agreement now clearly establishes policies for all noncurriculum-based student groups at Noble Street campuses," said Michael Milkie, school superintendent. "Noble Street Charter School places great importance on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students."

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit on behalf of the GSA's founding students, Jorge Mena and Heather Hall, in federal court on April 18 to assert the students' rights under the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act, which states that secondary schools that receive federal funds and allow noncurricular student groups to meet on campus are prohibited from discriminating against any group based on its viewpoint. The GSA had been meeting unofficially and unadvertised at the school over the course of the school year. (The Advocate)

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