After the board of a West Bend, Wisconsin district refused to allow Gay-Straight Alliances at two high schools, students filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the board was violating their right to use school facilities. Change.org member Bree Hogan started a petition in support of the GSAs, garnering support from nearly 2,000 signers.
On Monday, June 12, the school board voted again - this time approving Gay-Straight Alliances at West Bend schools, on the condition that the lawsuit was dropped.
The West Bend High School in West Bend, Wisconsin has rejected sponsoring a Gay-Straight Alliance, despite support from the community and the threat of legal action. Approval of school sponsorship for the GSA failed by a tied vote of 3-3 at the school board's meeting on Monday 5/9, despite the more than 100 people in attendance who supported school sanctioning.
Prior to the vote, attorneys did inform the district that they could face legal action for discrimination by not awarding club status to the GSA, which has been present in the West Bend schools since 2002. According to the district's criteria for clubs to be sponsored by the school, they must have a curricular tie, national or state affiliation, student appeal and a volunteer advisor, all of which the GSA has.
West Bend High School offers six courses in which LG+ issues are discussed, GSA Network is a nationwide effort, they have an advisor and students who attend the meetings. Without the club being acknowledged by the school district, the school is not required to allow them to meet inside of the building, they cannot use the school bulletin boards for notices, have a page in the yearbook, or hold fundraisers with a table in school hallways.
This is second- class citizenship displayed in a High School for all to see, and gives the students in the high school a clear message that this kind of treatment for people who are LG+ and the denial of a safe space for these students is okay in today's society.
Show them that they are wrong. Show that you support the students of the West Bend High Schools GSA.