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Lake School Board urged to allow gay-straight student group at middle school

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The Orlando Sentinel
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February 12, 2013

Educators, service-club leaders and a local pastor were adamant before the Lake County SchoolBoard Monday that members not move forward with rules that would keep a 'gay-straight' student club from forming. School Board members spoke last week in favor of future rules that, if implemented, would keep a Gay-Straight Alliance from starting at Carver Middle School in Leesburg. The School Board has yet to make a final decision on those rules but last week discussed options for banning extra-curricular clubs that don't line up with school courses in the middle and possibly high-school grades. Clubs that are based on courses taught, however, or in which students are required to participate for a grade would be allowed to stay, under one draft policy. Nearly a dozen people told the board that limiting clubs would hurt students, incite a legal battle and spoke in favor of the district allowing the gay-straight group. Dana Herron, a 14-year-old former Carver Middle School student, told the board she was bullied and a gay-straight club would help protect students' civil rights. "… People would spit on me because I was bisexual, and it was really humiliating, and no one should have to go through that," she said.