Fort Wayne LGBT Advocates Respond To ACLU Lawsuit
The Indiana ACLU sued East Allen County Schools last week, after allegations Leo Jr./Sr. High School administrators restricted students’ use of LGBT language, among other issues. LGBT activists in the Fort Wayne Area say the language used to describe the club mattered.
The lawsuit filed by the ACLU stated school administrators did not allow students to refer to the club as as 'GSA,' or Gay-Straight Alliance, but rather as Leo Pride, which is a school acronym that stands for, 'Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diligence, and Excellence.'
Executive Director of Fort Wayne Pride, Nikki Fultz said while the word 'pride' is often associated with LGBT identity, the decision on what a club like Leo’s calls itself should be left up to students.
"I think words mean quite a bit," Fultz said, "So to say that you can’t say those words, in trying to let students know what’s happening, is a way to make students feel ashamed of who they are."
Fultz said GSA’s have become prevalent in the last few years, creating a sense of inclusivity for those involved in the groups, especially LGBT youths, who are at a higher risk to attempt suicide.
No hearing has been set for the injunction.