Sign petition to get Arizona high school to follow the law

So: some students Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix Arizona want to start a branch of the Secular Student Alliance there. The high school says they have to collect signatures of students saying they’re OK with the club forming. This is entirely illegal. The law says that if a school allows any non-academic clubs, they have to allow them all.

Expect to hear about a legal challenge to this in the near future, but for now, why don’t we all go head and Pharygnulate the petition. Or Hallq It Up. Or something.

  • tubi

    Don’t signatures have to come from students at the school? Or are you suggesting that because the whole thing is a pile of santorum, that it won’t matter who signs it now?

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hallquist Chris Hallquist

      Yeah, the petition is illegal and shouldn’t matter. This is just to let them know the students have support outside the city.

  • Pteryxx

    Nah, the online petition is to let the school know they’ll be held to account.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Saw this on Crommunist’s blog, and signed – #78

    (holds out virtual pen) Next!

  • tubi

    I guess I was expecting a petition saying, “Should the PVSD allow a SSA without stipulations as is required by law? Yes or No.”

    Or ban all other non-academic clubs, I suppose.

  • benjdm

    Is there a reason you’re wanting to go the petition route instead of contacting the school administration?

  • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

    This page (from a pro-religious group’s site) seems to have some good background on the details of the law: http://thewordout.net/pages/page.asp?page_id=56672

  • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

    I just called the number listed for the Principal, spoke to someone named Becky, who said she wasn’t in the loop on the issue at all, and that everybody has gone home for the weekend. She suggested we call back on Monday or Tuesday, around 11 AM, when folks would be there. I mentioned the Equal Access Act, how it mandated that the club be allowed, and was generally sympathetic to the situation. It did not seem like I was the first call she had gotten.

  • sumdum

    I’d go with HALLQ SMASH POLL! or something.

  • Ken McKnight

    I teach at Horizon High School, which is in the same district and just down the road from Paradise Valley HS. We had our very first SSA meeting last Tuesday (I’m the sponsor). Our club was approved without anyone batting an eyelash.

  • http://www.arizonacor.org John Lynn

    I’m the President of Arizona Coalition of Reason (ArizonaCoR) and I just sent off an email to the Principal, Ms. Davis, asking her if this is true and also if she can tell me or point me to the current school and/or district policies on clubs.

    I’m curious to see her response.

  • http://www.arizonacor.org John Lynn (President, Arizona Coalition of Reason)

    Here’s an update on this. I exchanged a few emails with the Principal of PVHS, Ms. Davis. She met with her Vice Principal who oversees clubs and activities and it seems this is nothing more than misinformation. Below is her response to me: (and I will add that she was very professional and cooperative)

    “There was never a request made for the students to collect signatures. The requirement, according to School Policy, is that a club must have 10 members to form and remain in existence. That was the only request made of them for names.

    At this point we are waiting for that list. Once submitted, the Assistant Principal will sign off on the formation of the club. The students will then need to write their constitution (I understand that the National organization has one) and submit it to our Student Government for approval. Then the SSA will elect their officers and open up a club account with our Bookstore.

    We are supportive of all clubs at PVHS and are acutely aware of the laws that impact schools. The SSA has only been asked to follow the same guidelines that all clubs must adhere to.

    The club sponsor and I will be meeting with the students who are requesting the SSA club formation to explain the process and address any misconceptions they may hold.

    It is my hope that you will be able to share this information with those who have been misinformed. It is very difficult for me to read the comments directed against our school when I know they have been made without accurate facts. We our a very diverse school who prides itself in allowing our students to freely explore that diversity and, one, promotes the acceptance of all students on this campus.”

  • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

    The preamble to the petition now reads:

    “I’d like to thank everyone for their support. I never imagined that the petition would gain so much attention. However, this whole situation has been a large misunderstanding between myself and the administration.

    I never meant to shed Paradise Valley in a negative light. PV is an accepting community of diverse students and staff. I have met with my principal and this situation has been resolved.

    The misunderstanding was completely on my end of things. Again, thank you all for your activism and support.”

    So it does look like it was a case of misunderstanding. Hopefully there were not too many uninformed comments.

  • Blaine Reynoza

    Let me know if these things are still going on. They sound like something quite a few gangplanker’s might be interested in. I would love to help promote if they are still happening.

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