Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Oh When Will They Ever Learn

The Fourteenth Amendment has been around for a very long time, the1984 Equal Access Act (EAA) has required schools to have equal access to GSAs but school systems continue to ignore the law.
Gay-Straight Alliance Sues Indiana School Over Unequal Treatment
The club says the school’s principal will not allow it to advertise or fundraise like other student groups.
The Advocate
By Alex Cooper
September 28 2021

A Gay-Straight Alliance in Indiana is suing its school and school district after the club says the school’s principal banned the group from publicizing its activities or fundraising for itself on campus.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on September 22, claims that Pendleton Heights High School has put unequal burdens on Pendleton Heights Gay-Straight Alliance, according to a press release. The school club provides social, emotional, and educational support to LGBTQ+ students and allies.

In court documents, the group said other clubs exist at the school that do not relate to the school’s curriculum. These include SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), E-gaming, Robotics, Best Buddies (students working with special needs students), Mat Maids (supporters of the wrestling team), and Outdoor Adventure Club. Those clubs, according to the suit, are allowed to advertise and fundraise on school grounds.
The law has been on the books for close to four decades you would think by now that equal access would be a done deal, but no… school systems still are ignoring the law to push hate.
The ACLU of Indiana said that the treatment that the Pendleton Heights Gay-Straight Alliance compared to other student groups violates the Equal Access Act, the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Equal Access Act makes secondary schools that receive federal funding provide the same access to “noncurricular” clubs as other student groups regardless of the content of the club’s meeting, reported The IndyStar.
The Indianapolis Star reports that this is not the first time the school violated the laws to promote discrimination.
Ongoing issues at Pendleton Heights
Wednesday's lawsuit is not the first time that LGBTQ+ students have said they feel the district has treated them unfairly.

This summer, a group of Pendleton Heights students and parents approached the South Madison school board over a directive that teachers remove rainbow pride flags from their classrooms.

The district had told teachers they couldn't display the flags because they are supposed to remain neutral and not engage in political speech.

At the time, Hall told IndyStar that the district isn’t anti-LGBTQ.

“We pride ourselves on creating an environment that is welcoming to all," he said. "Teachers are legally obligated to maintain viewpoint neutrality during their official duties to ensure all students can focus on learning, and we can maintain educational activities and school operations.”

Students and community members appealed to the board, arguing that pride flags are not political speech. School board President Bill Hutton said during a meeting in May that if the district allowed pride flags to be displayed, they'd have to allow that same ability to other groups. Hutton said that could include white supremacy groups.
They know that they are going to lose in court, it is more than the GSA, it goes to school climate and making school open and affirming to all.

Oh when will they ever learn?

In other news from around the world, Poland took a step forward to undo two steps backward,
The European Union had previously threatened to withdraw funding from the regions.
NBC Out News
By Reuters
September 27, 2021

WARSAW -Three Polish regional councils voted on Monday to repeal motions declaring their provinces "LGBT-free zones," state-run news agency PAP reported, after the European Union threatened to withdraw funding.

Numerous local authorities in Poland declared themselves free of "LGBT ideology" in 2019, part of a conflict in the predominantly Catholic country between liberals and religious conservatives, who see the struggle for gay rights as a threat to traditional values.

This set Poland on a collision course with the European Commission, which says the zones may violate E.U. law regarding nondiscrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
But they’re only three out of around hundred provinces that passed anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

Another article, this one in NPR reported,
By Scott Neuman
September 28, 2021

Riding support from Poland's right-wing populist Law and Justice Party and the local Roman Catholic clergy, nearly 100 provinces and municipalities in 2019 passed symbolic resolutions declaring themselves "LGBT-free."

But two years later, and the central government is asking them to repeal those declarations after the European Union threatened to cut off millions of euros in funding to local and provincial governments that took an anti-LGBT stance. By doing so, they may be in violation of the EU's regulations against discrimination due to sexual orientation, the European Commission says.
On Monday, the southern provinces of Malopolskie, Lubelskie and Podkarpackie provinces complied, following a similar move last week by the regional assembly of Swietokrzyskie, Reuters reports, quoting the Polish PAP news agency.

The chairman of Malopolskie's assembly, Witold Kozłowski, said in a statement that while the region is "built on values and based on the centuries-old tradition of Christianity," he and his fellow councilors had no desire "to take responsibility for keeping [Malopolskie] without these EU funds."
Money talks… maybe we should withhold federal funds from Texas and other Republicans states that discriminate against us?
Last year, Poland's President Andrzej Duda declared that "LGBT is not people, it's an ideology." He said that during Poland's communist era children had been indoctrinated. "Today, there are also attempts to push an ideology on us and our children, but different. It's totally new, but it is also neo-Bolshevism," he said, according to The Associated Press.
We still have a long way to go, a very long way to go in eastern Europe.

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