MS School Tries to Prevent GSA Club

Administrators and school board officals in the Rankin County, Mississippi public schools are so upset about a mere inquiry about the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance that they’re trying to find a way to prevent it from happening. But at least they’re being open about their motivations, which should help if the case goes to court.

Rankin County school board members approved a change in the district’s school club policy on Wednesday in an attempt to prevent students from creating what Superintendent Lynn Weathersby referred to as “gay clubs.”

Weathersby brought up the issue at Wednesday’s school board meeting, making clear his intentions to limit such organizations in Rankin County schools.

“I talked to (board attorney) Freddie (Harrell) and several administrators about what we could legally do to limit organizations like that on campus that we don’t want to endorse and don’t want,” Weathersby said.

Although school board members and officials said they were not aware of any attempt to form a club in the district, Brandon High School theatre teacher Janice Weaver said she was approached by a student in December who expressed a desire to create a gay-straight alliance (GSA), or a student-led, student-organized club aimed at combating anti-gay discrimination and bullying in schools. Weaver said the student submitted the proposal for the club to school administrators.

Thank you for admitting that any action you take will be for the purpose of preventing the formation of a club that you don’t want to “endorse.” That will be very useful if it goes to court. And hey, does that mean allowing the formation of a Christian club means the school, the school is “endorsing” the club? Because that would also trigger an Establishment Clause violation. Just another example of a school board run by idiots.

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  • alanb

    “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”

    -Mark Twain

  • raven

    Mississippi is at or near the bottom on any metric of social problems.

    Yesterday, I saw on article on which states have the shortest lifespans. Mississippi was on the bottom followed by other christofascist states. No surprise.

    I’d ask if they ever get tired of being the poorest, most backward, and unhealthiest state in the USA but why bother? The well being of the citizens is clearly not a Mississippi concern.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    This didn’t have to happen. They broke the rules by putting in an application. The first rule of Gay Club is you don’t talk about Gay Club.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597316935 ashleybell

    At this point I actually LIKE these kerfuffles. I mean, on the gay-rights front, the war has been won (not that we stop fighting). And the further rejections of rights for gays pushes the wedge between the left and the right even further…The antis at this point are simply ‘self-distancing’ themselves from civilized society…

  • John Pieret

    Also in the linked article:

    In the school board meeting on Wednesday, Weathersby said he spoke with the board attorney and other administrators and learned that the best strategy for limiting organizations would be to require parents to sign a consent form allowing their children to participate in the club.

    School board attorney Freddie Harrell echoed Weathersby, saying a gay club might violate educational standards and principles adopted by the school district such as abstinence-only sexual education.

    Along with poor schools and poor health care, Mississippians also appear to be burdened with poor lawyers. A GSA is not a sex club, numbnutz! And LGBT kids can be as abstinent as straight kids are (not much). So, no, having a GSA wouldn’t violate any abstinence-only sexual education policy.

    “This is not directed to any particular club but to organizations in general,” Weathersby said, noting that the beginning of a new semester is a good time to review school policies and make appropriate changes.

    Yeah, we all believe that! That’s why you specified that you were looking for what “we could legally do to limit organizations like that on campus that we don’t want to endorse and don’t want.” That’s gonna fly in a Federal court!

  • Sastra

    School board attorney Freddie Harrell echoed Weathersby, saying a gay club might violate educational standards and principles adopted by the school district such as abstinence-only sexual education.

    How much do you want to bet that they’re afraid that someone in a gay club might talk about how to prevent AIDs — and not limit themselves to abstinence? The school has no control over what’s going to be said along these lines. There are a lot of ways they lose control on this one. Which is too freakin’ bad.

  • notruescott

    Nice to see Mr. Weatherbee got a promotion from Principal at Riverdale High.

  • whheydt

    And in other (semi-)related news…SCOTUS has decided to hear the appeals from the 6th Circuit, which same upheld anti-SSM laws. See: http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/01/16/supreme_court_agrees_to_hear_gay_marriage_cases.html

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Yesterday, I saw on article on which states have the shortest lifespans. Mississippi was on the bottom followed by other christofascist states. No surprise.

    Raven, it just means they get to heaven sooner.

  • dingojack

    “Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

    What again? That trick never works!

    This time for sure. Nothing up my sleeve. Hey presto!”

    @@

    Dingo