Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Will They Ever Learn – The Continuing Saga

You would think by now that schools will have learned by now that they cannot block GSAs (Gay Straight Alliances) in their schools.
Putnam County principal: Adding LGBT club would ‘create bullying’
The Charleston Gazette
By Mackenzie Mays, Staff writer
November 14, 2014

A Putnam County high school will not allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club on campus, despite students’ requests.

Winfield High School Principal Bruce McGrew said that, while there was student interest in such a group, no teachers wanted to sponsor it.

“It’s not a subject to even discuss, because [we] don’t have one,” McGrew said. “That’s all I’ll say about it.”

When asked if he would allow a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender student support club at the school if a teacher did offer to chaperone, McGrew said he would “rather not answer that.”

McGrew said he believes the creation of such a group would allow more opportunities for students to bully other students.

“It’s an issue. If you’re asking my personal beliefs, that’s one thing, but what you’ve got to understand is we don’t want to have anything where there’s bullying involved, and if you bring attention to that sort of thing, it’s going to create bullying,” McGrew said. “It would bring more problems to the issue of bullying and so forth if it were to occur. Our job is to protect all kids from that.”
Yes, your job is to protect the students and it is not done by discriminating against them. The Equal Access Act (1980’s) applies to LGBT organizations and the courts and the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice has made it very clear that schools must allow GSAs and also provide a safe learning environment for all students.

An article in QUEERTY said that under pressure the school has agreed to have a GSA there,
The petition [a Change.org petition] garnered over 150 signatures and got the media’s attention. This ultimately prompted McGrew to reverse course. Within a day, he located a faculty member to oversee the group and gave the GSA the green light.

Jeff Haught, the school’s show choir director, will be the club’s sponsor.

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