In Wisconsin, there is now record of the West Bend School Board ever rejecting an application for a student club at a high school . . . until now. You guessed it, students wanted to form the Gay-Straight Alliance clubs at East and West high schools but were denied approval by a 3-3 vote of the board. Board President Randy Marquardt opposed approval of the club.
All that is required under the rules is that school-sponsored clubs, clubs must have a curricular tie, national or state affiliation, student appeal and a volunteer adviser. The article below notes:
In GSA’s application for school sponsorship, its purpose is listed as combating bullying and harassment and “to provide an emotionally and physically healing learning environment for people of all genders and sexual orientations.” For a curriculum connection, the group listed six courses in which homosexual issues are discussed and studied.
Not enough. It appears the fifth criteria is “not involve gays or lesbians.”
The students could bring a first amendment and equal protection challenge — as well as other claims based on the written guidelines for the clubs. Sexual orientation is still not afforded the same protection of race or gender — a lower protection supported by the Obama Administration in court. However, the arbitrary and capricious basis for the decision should give ample grounds for a challenge.
Notably, Marquardt ran for the board by insisting “I intend to bring a common sense approach to the District’s facility and budget issues. I believe many past discussions have been too ideologically driven.” Well this ideological decision is likely to be costly indeed if these students go to court to fight against an obvious act of discriminatory treatment. It may come as some surprise but those Future Farmers of America just may be gay.
What is bizarre is that high schools should be a microcosm of society where students express their views and consider different groups and lifestyles. By barring such groups, the board sends a chilling message to students on the marginalizing of gays and lesbians.
Source: JS Online