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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Club clashes



Ever wonder what it is about high schools and their seeming distaste for kids to talk about things that matter to them? Sure, principals and school boards might cover over their intents by making broad statements about maintaining calm and protecting the youth.

Witness the recent suburban Chicago brouhaha over teens protesting the Iraq war.

Throw sex into the brew, and things quickly get even more excitable. Check out these items in today's news.

First, there's the Gay-Straight Alliance. It's been trying to gain access into Okeechobee schools for quite some time. The district went into a virtual tizzy to stop it, going so far as to ban all sexually oriented clubs. Of course, the ACLU stepped in to sue.

The district's reaction surprised civil rights organization. It took the stance that the "negative health effects of homosexual sex" should factor in its decision to bar the group from its schools, the Palm Beach Post reports today.

"This is the most rabidly homophobic response that the school board could have taken," American Civil Liberties Union attorney Robert Rosenwald told the Post. The ACLU has asked for a delay in the case to figure out how to respond to the tactic of using experts to testify on the dangers of being gay, the Stuart News reports.

On the other side of the fence, an antiabortion club tried to gain access to a suburban Virginia high school and it, too, got the cold shoulder. Administrators there relented only after the Pro-Life Club's leader threatened to sue after being denied, the Washington Post reports.

What's the right response? Should schools be happy that kids are passionate about the issues of the day and support their freedom of speech? Or should they crack down? As that wise TV sage Arsenio Hall might say, it's one of those things that makes you go Hmmmmm.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:26am]


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