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ACLU Calls on California School to Stop Discriminating Against Gay Students or Face Lawsuit: VIDEO


Students at a Southern California high school have called on the ACLU for help, saying they're experiencing bullying and discrimination from students and peers, and the ACLU has notified the Hesperia Unified School District of pending litigation, the L.A. Times reports:

The letter makes specific allegations against the faculty and administration of Sultana High School. It recounts “persistent censorship” of activities and announcements by the Gay-Straight Alliance club.

“Indeed, the club’s very name has typically been truncated from ‘Gay-Straight Alliance’ to ‘GSA’ when morning announcements are read over the intercom, with the words ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian,’ ‘bisexual,’ ‘transgender,’ and ‘queer’ omitted entirely,” the attorneys’ letter reads...

...The letter also accuses the school of allowing and failing to investigate discriminatory remarks by faculty and administration and pressuring the club's lesbian faculty advisor to leave, contributing to an atmosphere of hostility and bullying among students.

The school intends to hold its prom at a Los Angeles hotel in April, and students not dressed in traditional gender-defined clothes won’t be allowed on the bus to the event, according to attorneys. A number of young women in the club want to wear tuxedos to the prom. And a male student wants to wear heels with a tuxedo.

Watch an NBC4 report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Oh boo hoo you losers. This is all common and doesn't need an ACLU fix you spoiled brats. This is a wholly surmountable problem. I took an older dude to my prom, the school said no and I fought. I won by starting a dialogue and using base threats. Be resolute, charming and coy, threaten the things you could do without ever committing to them.

    Or hell, ask nicely, something I doubt any of those brats did.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 9:34:41 AM

  2. Fenrox, lets not get our panties in a bunch. You don't know the facts here.

    Posted by: dcinsider | Mar 19, 2013 9:42:09 AM

  3. @ Fenrox - from your reply, it doesn't seem possible that you were able to be charming and ask nicely. As far as threatening the things you could do without ever committing to them, the word wimp comes to mind.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Mar 19, 2013 9:45:36 AM

  4. “At Sultana High School, it sadly seems, the primary bullies are school officials and teachers -- the very adults with a legal obligation and an ethical imperative to stop bullying and harassment and to ensure an equal and supportive educational experience for all,” the letter reads.

    ____ Well duh! Outward hostility towards gay people in school almost always involves the approval of a select group of teachers, who themselves often seek approval from the offending set of students. At my junior high school the jackholes could get away with attacking gay people because the coaches and jocksniffers (little guys who wish they could play sports and usually become sportscasters) ran cover for them.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 19, 2013 10:11:19 AM

  5. Heh, I am having a cranky morning.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 10:12:18 AM

  6. @FENROX--Cranky morning? Yeah, guess so. You don't know what the students have tried already, but frankly it doesn't matter. If this stuff is going on and being sanctioned or even promoted by adults, do you *really* think that anything short of legal action would suffice?

    I remember plenty of times in school when stupid/spiteful adults tried to get away with stuff in their little fiefdom. Stuff that had nothing to do with me being gay, but with some health problems I was having while a teenager. In that environment, only two things have any sway (1) publicity and (2) legal action. I remember my mom acquainting me well with what my rights were and what their rights were, so I could know how and when they were going too far. And I used "maybe you'd like to talk to a lawyer about this" many times. It worked wonders. Had it touched on civil liberties, I probably would have contacted the ACLU. Nothing wrong with properly availing yourself of legal recourse.

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 19, 2013 10:23:25 AM

  7. Encouraging students and faculty to think of LGBT folk as "queer" exacerbates the hostile atmosphere. There's no percentage in using ignorant language that makes bigots feel comfortable with their prejudices. When will we ever learn?

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Mar 19, 2013 10:59:38 AM

  8. @ Fenrox:

    Get some help! There's no excuse for that crap attitude,cranky morning or not!

    Posted by: Audi-owner | Mar 19, 2013 11:14:03 AM

  9. @Audi-owner, oh like you matter.

    @Thomas, lets compare when these high school things are happening, mine was 1997. So I fought and won to take an older gay man to my prom in 1997. It did seem to get more restrictive recently, but a lot of the same problems existed back then. SLIGHTLY less litigious, MAYBE. I did notice that in my little sisters HS career, she was told from the get go that school rules are ironclad and not to "rock the boat". It was implied when I was in school, not so overt. I hated the way she would try to get things changed at school, so defeatist, but I stepped in and helped and things were pushed through.

    Reading all the info I could find about this does not indicate that any meaningful discrimination is happening ala Sullivan High School.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 12:47:41 PM

  10. Also I am not against the fact that they went to the group that could get this done, I don't like that they started with the nuclear option. They, to me, exude no finesse or style.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 12:56:08 PM

  11. kudos to these brave young TEENS for speaking out and standing up in a way that a great many grown-adult gays still can't, or won't.

    "and these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations - they're quite aware of what they're going through" - BOWIE

    it was way back in 2000, but i attended my prom (or "Formal", as we canucks call it) with three other Queer students. two girls, two boys. dressed up, rented our limo, and my buddy and I shared a slow-dance together - two gays. it was one of those empowering moments of beauty that i'll never forget.

    cheers to these young people having the same opportunity.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 19, 2013 12:59:26 PM

  12. I don't see the objection to calling the GSA "GSA" . That's what our T-shirts at UofM said.

    I do understand the school's objection to using "queer" on the PA system. A handful of out gay kids telling you that it's OK is simply not good enough from a protective administrative POV. It comes of as similar to black kids calling each other the nword affectionately or otherwise.

    Don't make it too difficult for people to be supportive.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Mar 19, 2013 1:19:36 PM

  13. Fewnrox - you didn't read anything - one paragraph posted in thsi comment thread says it all and you certainly didn;t read. What a pompous blowhard and a jerk you come across as.

    YThe exude no finesse or style". PUKE. You're nauseating.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 19, 2013 1:21:15 PM

  14. @Jonathan, Reading is really quite easy. Don't worry so much.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 19, 2013 3:23:23 PM

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