FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/5/2013
Contact: Michael Farmer
Lake County School Board May End ALL Clubs to Avoid Gay-Straight Alliance Club
Today Equality Florida is shocked and disappointed to hear that the Lake County School Board is considering completely eliminating extracurricular clubs in the district to avoid allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight friends from forming support groups in Lake County schools. The Lake County School Board is continuing to follow a pattern of deliberately excluding LGBT students from vital protections and thereby denying LGBT students a safe and inclusive learning experience in their school district.
Equality Florida and Lake County voters called on them over a year ago to create clear guidelines for teachers and staff by passing an LGBT inclusive non-discrimination policy and anti-bullying policy, protections that more than 60% of Florida students already benefit from. We regret that today they have still failed to join over a dozen other school districts throughout Florida, both large and small, who have taken action on this issue.
“The Lake County School Board continues to enable bullies over the safety of their students,” said Michael Farmer, Equality Florida Statewide Field Coordinator. “This is just the latest example of the need for the Lake County School Board to adopt an anti-bullying policy and a nondiscrimination policy that includes LGBT students and staff.”
In 2011, the Board failed to adequately address the homophobic comments of a Mt. Dora High School teacher on Facebook and was overheard by students in his class to say that “gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the military only if they were sent to the front lines with no weapons".
This pattern of discrimination in our schools must end and Equality Florida stands ready to work with the Lake County Board to pass these much needed policies.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.