The North Putnam Community School Corporation in Bainbridge, located 35 miles outside of Indianapolis, has been accused of violating the First Amendment rights of the members of the North Putnam High School GSA.
In November, the school board voted against recognizing the club. As a result, its members, which currently consists of three students, are forbidden from meeting at the school, promoting its activities on school grounds, or associating with the school in any capacity.
Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana legal director, said the school board had no reason to reject the club, noting that there are a number of other clubs allowed to meet at the high school.
The lawsuit states that the GSA is necessary because LGBT students at North Putnam High School have frequently reported harassment and bullying. It also states the students seeking approval for the club “believe that having a formal club that would meet during school non-instructional time would be extremely beneficial to these students as well as to the student body as a whole.”
The lawsuit argues that because students are forbidden from meeting or advertising in the same way as other clubs at the school, its ability to function is greatly diminished.
The lawsuit requests the court declare that the school district has violated the Constitution and grant an injunction demanding it approve the club’s application as well as pay all attorney fees.
Acting school Superintendent Terry Tippin told press that he is aware of the lawsuit, but he said he had no comment on the matter.