In recent weeks, students at Cy-Falls and Jersey Village High schools who have tried to start up Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs, which seek to promote understanding and tolerance between homosexuals and heterosexuals, had their efforts stalled by school administrators. Ms. Kelli Durham, assistant to the superintendent for communication, said that the proposed GSA is just "a can of worms." A student who graduated from Langham Creek High School last May told the Houston Chronicle that he submitted an application on behalf of 25 students and was turned down. When the Houston Chronicle contacted Langham Creek administrators about this, they were referred to Ms. Durham. But when Ms. Durham was called, she denied that the district had told schools to prohibit the clubs.
Rather than playing this round about game of trying to defer blame, district and school officials need to focus on the real issue at hand: why are they promoting discrimination against gays? Every student in the school is entitled to join an organization that suits his interest. If a student is interested in foreign relations, he should be allowed to join Model UN. If he is interested in community service, he should be allowed to join the Interact Club. And if a student is interested in helping to promote understanding and tolerance towards homosexuals, he should be allowed to join GSA. It is not the school's place to decide which clubs are moral and which are not. America has a First Amendment that prohibits government officials from judging or prohibiting the exercise of certain beliefs. When the school allows and encourages three Christian clubs to flourish, but prohibits clubs for homosexuals, it is giving the message that devout Christianity is sanctioned, and homosexuality is not; it deems one belief system right, and another one wrong. Unfortunately for the school, the First Amendment prohibits exactly this type of judgment call. Also, the Equal Access Act prohibits publicly funded schools from discriminating against the establishment of student clubs on the basis of their points of view. The whole school would benefit if Christian clubs, Gay-Straight Alliance, and any other club that students have an interest in is allowed and supported by the school.
Rather than taking a policy that judges students and clubs on their belief systems, the district should foster a system conducive of tolerance and understanding. Despite what the leaders of many conservative organizations would have you believe, a potential Gay-Straight Alliance would not serve as a breeding ground for the HIV virus or act as a dating service for homosexuals. It would promote tolerance, respect, and understanding between students of the school, a goal that despite all logic, many still oppose. Our school system is plagued with violence and drugs, as illustrated by the dogs that sniff our lockers, the random metal detector tests, and the police officers roaming our campus. Rather than continue this terrible trend, why not give a crazy idea like tolerance a chance?
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