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ACLU sues East Allen County Schools

(Photo supplied/American Civil Liberties Union)

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against East Allen County Schools for alleged discrimination against a student-led organization for LGBT+ students.

ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falks says the district “imposed undue, unequal burdens” on the Leo Pride Alliance, who looked to set up a student club known as a “gay-straight alliance,” or “GSA,” at Leo High School. He says administrators denied the request and insisted that the club be called the “Leo Pride Alliance,” “with ‘Pride’ referring to an acronym used by the school, ‘Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diligence, and Excellence.'”

The ACLU also claims club members were not allowed to use the words “gay,” “GSA” or “LGBT+,” and that, unlike other clubs, they were not allowed to meet outside of a single classroom or participate in school fundraisers. They also allege that the Alliance’s faculty advisor must submit a list of all club members to all faculty, which has led some students to stop attending the group.

The ACLU claims the school district violated the Equal Access Act, the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Read the full complaint here.

WOWO News reached out to EACS Superintendent Marilyn Hissong and the EACS Board of Education, and received the following reply from EACS Public Information Officer Tamyra Kelly:

“We take the rights of our students very seriously and we’re looking into this matter.”

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