Leo LGBT+ student ran club sues EACS

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Leo Pride Alliance students hoped to be called a "Gay-Straight Alliance." While there is a club, the document states the administration has not allowed it to be called, "Leo GSA."

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 2:02 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 8:44 AM

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT)- A student ran organization is reportedly suing the East Allen County School district, alleging Leo High School administration has prohibited the club from using certain language in announcements. 

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Leo Pride Alliance students hoped to be called a "Gay-Straight Alliance." While there is a club, the document states the administration has not allowed it to be called, "Leo GSA." 

Instead, the club is required to be called, "Leo Pride Alliance," with Pride standing for, "Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diligence, and Excellence." 

The club alleges it is not allowed to use words like, "gay, GSA, LGBT+, or similar language." 

The club is also not allowed to meet outside of a single classroom or participate in school fundraisers.

The school schedule shows there is a class period known as, "Pride," but it's unclear if this is the designated meeting time. 

The suit also states the school would only allow the club to put up a bulletin board if it performed community service, a requirement not imposed on other clubs. The school ultimately allowed the bulletin board, but the content needed to be approved. 

The faculty advisor is also required to send a list of club members to all faculty. The club currently has around 30 members. 

The suit states EACS has violated the Equal Access Act, the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

EACS has not released a statement on the lawsuit. FOX 55 is also awaiting a reply from the Leo principal. 

The American Civil Liberty Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit. 

"This group aims to create an environment that provides social, emotional and educational support to students during a time that otherwise might be increasingly difficult for LGBTQ students," Jane Henegar, executive director of ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement, adding, "The differential treatment aimed at Leo Pride Alliance by administrators is unwarranted."

The full document can be viewed here. 

FOX 55 will have more as this story develops. 

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