Fl School Changes Tune, Now Says Lesbian Student Can Participate in Day of Silence

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April 11, 2013

On the heels of a Lambda Legal lawsuit, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled that because the DeSoto County school district promised it would not interfere with Amber Hatcher, 16, and other students' rights to participate GLSEN’s Day of Silence this year, on April 19, 2013, an injunction was not necessary.

The Court stopped short of ordering DeSoto County School District to allow students to participate in the annual anti-bullying observance based on assurances from school officials "that plaintiff may engage in literally all the conduct" associated with participation in GLSEN’s Day of Silence.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Beth Littrell says:

We’re glad that the school has changed its position and represented to the Court that Amber and other students will be able to participate in National Day of Silence this year. Amber was forced to literally make a federal case out of the situation in order to ensure that her rights were not trampled again this year. We’re proud of Amber for standing up for herself and for her classmates.

This is an important first step, but a student’s First Amendment rights are not restricted to one day a year. The case will continue to make sure that it is not the policy or practice of the DeSoto County School District to ever deny its students’ constitutional rights.

Read the entire press release.

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