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Upstate NY School District Allows GSA in Face of Lawsuit

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A high school in upstate New York has decided to allow a sophomore to start a gay-straight alliance, after being threatened with a lawsuit.

Lambda Legal attorney Michael Kavey says he’s glad that Indian River High School will allow the club, but that the case should still be pursued because it addresses multiple issues.

KAVEY: “This is a situation in which the school district failed its students not only by allowing anti-gay harassment to occur, but actually silencing students who want to stand up for themselves and for their classmates.”

Last year, Fifteen-year-old Ashley Petranchuk tried to start a gay-straight alliance at Indian River – inspired by her gay brother, who had suffered harsh name-calling and physical abuse during his time at the school.

School administrators denied the request, so the siblings contacted Lambda Legal. Once confronted with the idea of a lawsuit, the school district said it would allow Petranchuk to start the club.

Even though the school is now allowing Petranchuk to start the GSA, Lambda Legal is still suing the school district and several school officials for unspecified damages on behalf of her brother.

Petranchuk says she is excited to start a gay-straight alliance, so that students won’t suffer like her older brother did.

-Amanda Magnus

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Written by OutQ News staff

April 20, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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