Friday, October 07, 2011

ACLU Threatens Tenn. School over Gay Club

A Monroe County, TN high school student and his sister have accused the principal of physical assault relating to the pair's advocacy to form a homosexualist club, but without any corroborating witnesses, the school is investigating and plans to resolve the situation then announce the outcome. Meanwhile, the homosexualists have declared the school administration to be homophobic bigoted bullies.

For background, read Outlawing Teaching of Homosexuality in Tennessee

-- From "Student who claims principal shoved him over gay T-shirt gets ACLU support" by The Associated Press 10/7/11

The Tennessee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has entered the case on behalf of 17-year-old Chris Sigler and other Sequoyah High School students it says have been prevented by school officials from forming the alliance they call GSA [Gay-Straight Alliance]. It threatened a lawsuit unless the school agrees by Tuesday to respect the rights of students to peacefully state opinions.

Sigler and his family filed a police report over the Sept. 30 classroom confrontation with Principal Maurice Moser.

Sigler said Moser confronted him because it was the second time he wore a homemade shirt to school that said "GSA: We've got your back."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ACLU weighs in on Sequoyah High gay club controversy" by Beth Braden, Knoxville News Sentinel 10/6/11

Monroe County Schools issued a statement: "Our documentation clearly indicates that there are always two sides to every story. We'll gladly provide more information as it becomes available."

Chuck Cagle, one of the lawyers for Monroe County Schools, said there are "vast, vast differences" in what the family alleges occurred and what school officials say happened.

"They indicate what has been stated is not what happened. Most of what we've been able to ascertain, there's certainly another side of this incident," Cagle said.

In an Oct. 4 letter to Mike Lowry, Monroe County's director of schools, the ACLU indicated it will file a lawsuit if not given a satisfactory response by Oct. 11.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Student Alleges Principal Bullied Him for Organizing Gay-Straight Alliance" by Susan Donaldson James, ABC News 10/5/11

Chris is straight, but his 18-year-old sister Jessica is bisexual and has endured teasing and bullying at school. He told his family he wanted to start the GSA to provide support for gay students.

[The ACLU says] that Chris' efforts to start a GSA have been thwarted by the school's administration and his free speech rights have been violated. The ACLU alleges that Moser had previously threatened to punish students who circulated petitions about the club.

An estimated 33 percent of LGBT students in Tennessee regularly heard school staff make homophobic remarks, according to research from the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Additionally, 1 in 4 LGBT students in that state were punched, kicked or injured with a weapon for because of their sexual orientation.

GLSEN also said that few comprehensive bullying and harassment policies were in place in Tennessee.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.