A Florida school district has been sued by the America Civil Liberties Union for the second time this year after claims they have again refused to approve a Gay-Straight Alliance at a middle school.
The suit against Lake County school board was filed after a group of students from Leesberg had their application to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School was denied.
Earlier in the year, the ACLU sued the district on behalf of a student after school officials at Carver Middle School refused to allow the formation of a GSA. The school board eventually agreed to a settlement allowing the club to form.
The group had three meetings, with students claiming discussion was ‘chilled’ by the presence of a principal or assistant principal at each of the gatherings.
In August, the board created new rules for school clubs to abide by, and all clubs had to reapply in order to meet the new standards. The application for the GSA was denied, with the school board’s attorney stating the club was not an extension of the school curriculum.
Daniel Tilley, staff attorney for the ACLU in Florida, said: ‘It seems there’s nothing the school board won’t do to keep the students at Carver Middle School from their legally-protected right to start a GSA and fight bullying and discrimination at their school.
‘It’s clear that the school board’s new club policy was just the latest tool to try to stop these students.
‘What’s most disappointing is that as these kids are facing bullying in the classrooms, they’re being subjected to a more sophisticated kind of bullying from the officials who should be protecting them. The school board’s response as to what these kids are doing is the perfect example of why a GSA is so important.’
A spokesperson for Lake County school board has stated they haven’t received the lawsuit yet, and therefore cannot comment.