ICSD Votes to Withdraw Human Rights Challenge
Way Cleared for Race Case Hearing
"To the sound of thunderous applause the Ithaca City School District's board of education unanimously voted late Tuesday to rescind a challenge of the state's human rights law.
"The vote clears the way for a hearing to be held in the claim of Amelia Kearney, who alleges the district failed to promptly and effectively protect her daughter from racial harassment by other students during the 2005-06 school year.
"...Local and national organizations ? including Lambda Legal, Village at Ithaca, LGBT Task Force of Ithaca and the New York Civil Liberties Union ? recently joined the growing chorus of community members in asking the board to retract its challenge.
"The board's willingness to reconsider its stance on the issue was spurred by board member Seth Peacock, who unexpectedly asked for a revote on the issue during the board's Oct. 9 meeting.
"Peacock thanked Lambda Legal, a legal advocacy group that focuses on gay rights, for alerting the board that its challenge would remove the only effective legal protection for LGBT students.
"'I want to thank Lambda for their involvement in this case,' he said. 'Their letter, I think, allowed many of us to look at this issue differently.'"