No Way to a GSA? What?
Oh come on, not again! One would think, after many court cases around the country that have affirmed the right of students to form Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs), (see here and here, just to name a couple), that schools wouldn’t bother trying to shut them down anymore. Apparently the Flour Bluff Independent School District didn’t get the memo.
When student Nikki Peet approached her principal to request permission to start a GSA at Flour Bluff High School, he gave her the run around and eventually forbid her from forming her club. When faced with information that courts have established that GSAs can not be prohibited in schools that allow extracurricular clubs, the Flour Bluff ISD superintendent decided that she’d prohibit other clubs instead of allowing the GSA to form.
When the ACLU of Texas heard about this, we reached out to Nikki and decided to intervene. We sent a letter to the district educating it about the existing case law that establishes the rights that students have to operate GSAs, and unequivocally demanded that it reverse its policy and make sure that students and teachers will not face retaliation for their efforts to form a club or to stand up for their right to do so. (See the press release and letter here). If the district does not comply with our request, it may be facing legal action.
The ACLU of Texas has worked hard to protect the rights of GSAs, and we will continue to make sure that schools respect the laws of our nation. If you are familiar with similar situations in your city, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know or go to our website and file a legal complaint. If we don’t know, we can’t help.
If you want to form a GSA club at your school, check out these tips.