Florida school district needs more talks before deciding on gay-straight alliance

The Daily Commercial
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February 14, 2013

Lake County School District officials say at least one more workshop will be needed before any decision is made about allowing a gay-straight alliance to form at Carver Middle School. "We have to discuss this issue," School Board Chairwoman Kyleen Fischer said during a workshop this week. "This is a sensitive issue and we want to be as well prepared as we possibly can be when the policy is presented." The request to start a gay-straight alliance at the school was made last year by eighth-grader Bayli Silberstein, who believes the club is needed to teach tolerance and combat prejudice. She got both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network involved after her former principal ignored a former student's request to form the club, and her current principal said Silberstein's renewed efforts needed school district approval. That former student, Dana Herron, now a ninth-grader at another school, told school board members at the workshop she was "bullied horribly and constantly called names" at Carver Middle because of her bi-sexuality. Herron said she was spat upon in middle school and believes the club would show straight members and other students how wrong this "humiliating" behavior is.