Rowan-Salisbury board of education in North Carolina voted
unanimously Monday night to ban all gay-straight alliance
clubs, including one at South Rowan High School.
Without comment the board approved an amendment to the
school's extracurricular activities policy banning
"sex-based" student clubs, the Salisbury Post
Board member Jim
Shuping read aloud the complete text of the amendment.
The policy uses the system's existing abstinence-only sex
education policy as the basis for the ban. The board
waived its usual requirement of two readings for
policy adoptions, allowing the policy to be in effect
when school opens next week.
Bryce Beard said later that the new policy has been
thoroughly reviewed by attorneys. He expressed confidence it
can withstand a legal challenge.
"We have concerns
that the policy...is illegal," Jennifer Rudinger,
executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's
Raleigh office, told the Post. "When a school
allows extracurricular clubs, it's all or nothing. They
can't discriminate.... They can't pick and choose."
misnamed to call [the GSA] a sex-based club. It's
inappropriate," Rudinger continued. "These kids want to
create a safe environment, to foster tolerance and
acceptance. It's inappropriate and factually wrong to
call them some kind of sex-based club. It's really a
that the ACLU has successfully represented students who
wanted to have a Bible club at schools that were initially
banned. She said the same law protects the
gay-straight alliance. (The Advocate)