In a dramatic development one day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Lake County schools, the district announced Thursday that a gay-straight alliance club will be allowed to form at a Leesburg middle school.
The district said that the club can form and meet at Carver Middle School “until the end of the school year.”
In a statement, the district said it is “working to resolve” the federal suit filed by the ACLU and that the action to allow the group to form is the result of a consent order arising from a joint motion of both parties.
The ACLU filed the suit in federal court on Wednesday on behalf of a 14-year-old girl who had been rebuffed in her effort to start the club.
The suit accused school leaders of violating a federal law prohibiting schools from discriminating against student clubs.
“I’m just so happy that our club is finally going to be allowed to meet,” said eighth-grader Bayli Silberstein. “There’s only about a month left of school, but that’s still a month we can use to start doing the work to make this school a safer and more welcoming place.”
She had been working since the 2011-12 school year to establish a club whose goal is to fight bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Her mother, Erica Silberstein, said: “It’s great that Bayli finally gets to have this club that she’s worked so hard for. All she ever wanted was to make her school a better place.”
Superintendent Susan Moxley said the “discussion on this issue has been complex and longer than anticipated.” She added that the policy discussion will continue but that “this specific school and student request is being resolved within current laws and guidelines.”
&Copy;2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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