Terriffic Teens Sue School Over Gay-Straight Alliance

1234455565027It seems a week doesn’t go by without hearing a story about how today’s kids are fighting for equal rights for gays and lesbians. Case in point: Students at Yulee High School in Nassau County Florida are suing the school over its refusal to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance and are getting a little help from the ACLU. The school will be hauled into court on March 6th and is arguing that it has no problem with a gay-straight alliance, so long as it does not use the words “gay” or “straight” in the name. The kids however, have no intention of renaming their group “Secret Happy Fun Time in the Closet Club.”

Florida’s WJXT-TV reports

“Hannah Page, 15, is an openly gay high school freshman. Since middle school she has held hopes of forming a Gay-Straight Alliance with her friends. The goal of the alliance she said was to build awareness and reduce violence and harassment towards homosexuals.

“They have been harassed. They have been bullied. They’ve had food thrown at them. They’ve been spit on,” said Benetta Standly, of the Jacksonville ACLU.

On Tuesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Nassau County School Board.

Page and another teen, junior Jacob Brock, said the school is violating their rights under the Federal Equal Access Act.

“Under the Federal Equal Access Act, if a school district allows one extracurricular student club to meet, then it must allow all,” Standly said.

At the beginning of the school year, Page managed to organize and hold a Gay-Straight Alliance meeting that about eight students attended. Shortly after the meeting, her mother said the school shut down the club.

Superintendent John Ruis was unable to comment on Wednesday, but in a letter to ACLU attorneys, he wrote, “We were willing to let the proposed GSA meet on the condition that the name of the club was changed to prevent bullying and discrimination. A club name highlighting specific sexual orientations will not be permitted as it would violate school board policy.”

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  • Trine S. Rasmussen

    Awesome! I love that they aren’t just giving up. Can’t wait to see how it’ll unravel.
    Oh, and “Secret Happy Fun Time in the Closet Club” just made my night. Excellent!

  • Kid A

    Ugh. I can’t believe Florida went for Obama, given how conservative it is on the street level.

  • Lydon

    These kids rock!

  • Anon

    how about an international petition? do it! I’ll sign, I´ll make everyone i’ve ever met do it too

  • moo

    Terriffic? Tut tut. See me after class.

  • Chimo

    I love how the school board is sending the message of ‘you can have your group to promote awareness and tolerance… as long as no one can tell what you’re promoting tolerance and awareness of.’

    This school board deserves a jacka** award.

  • blake

    These kids rock!

    (P.S. Adults should be as cool as the kids who are gay and straight who form these kinds of clubs around the country. Adults continue to act like idiots when they see straight people hanging around gays or doing anything that remotely gayish, like having a roommate of the same sex. Look at the continuing stupid comments in the gay press about Chace Crawford or the Australian swimmer Thorpe. Many adults seem to be live mentally in 1979 and not 2009.)

  • Charles J. Mueller

    What is it with these stuffy, old farts, anyway?

    They can’t stone their kids to death anymore for disobeying them, so now they fuck with their heads?

    When will this stone-age, bible-induced ignorance ever come to an end?

    Millions of dollars of taxpayers monies in lawyers fees and court costs to get these old bastards to allow human beings the dignity and the rights they should have been born with, all in the name of religious morality, bigotry and hatred.

    Homophobia sucks. Big time!

  • kevin57

    As a former school principal, I can assure one and all that the ACLU will win this battle, and the school district will be all the poorer for wasting tax dollars defending a position the courts have ruled on dozens of times already.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Your assurances are very much appreciated, Sir.

    Like reinventing the wheel, over and over and over, eh Kevin?

    Don’t any of these idiots read the papers or watch the media? How many times must the courts rule on this one before they get the message?

    We, the taxpayers of America are paying for this stupidity. Aren’t times hard enough for most Americans already?

  • Alex

    @Kid A: Depends where in Florida. Nassau County is in north Florida, which is more like the south. South Florida is much more liberal.

  • Carsen T.

    LOL my school was Catholic, ergo they are not allowed to have GSA’s no questions asked. Eventually Science Club and Anime Club, was hey everybody let’s go meet up every Thursday and Friday afternoon to hook up with your girl while Carsen and whoever is having an arguement with their girlfriend is look out for homophobic parents and to warn teachers not to open that closet or lab supply pantry. Good times.

  • michael

    Here in British Columbia one young student at a high school in the town of Abbottsford started a movement on facebook protesting the school boards decision to disallow a course on diversity to be taught because it included LGBT’s in its curriculum. She received a lot of nasty notes and threats but she persevered, gathered support and planned a march to show the town that there were gay students in their high school ( a school official made a stupid comment that there were not any in the Abbottsford schools) She expected 20 people to show up at the most. The march turned into a rally as well and by the time it was done there were hundreds of people that showed up including bus loads from Vancouver. My spouse and I were 2 of them. It was a huge success. Later a complaint was filed against the school board, the human rights tribunal agreed to take the case and before a hearing was held the school board caved in. You have no idea how uplifting it was to see the look on those young peoples faces when they saw all of us show up to march behind them. I think that day a whole new breed of young people were born. A breed that learned to believe in themselves and their convictions and that standing up for what is right sometimes does pay off. I challenge every LGBT adult to get behind our youth when they stand up for themselves because there is something very healing about it. I came of age in the 80’s and such a thing was unheard of and like many young gay people the road to self acceptance was long and hard. That day in Abbottsford I felt like my own youth was redeemed through these kids and I learned to love myself and my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters even more.

  • lisimoomoo

    Makes me a little embarrassed of Fl…but I’m from Miami, which is more liberal than Nassau. Actually, in my HS the GSA was very active.

  • dfrw

    I am so happy that I moved to Massachusetts last year.

Comments are closed.