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Students Suspended After Protesting Anti-Lesbian Action; ACLU Files Suit

After unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with Irmo High School officials, the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit against the school for violating its students’ constitutional right to protest the school’s cancellation of a scheduled performance by the Indigo Girls, an openly-lesbian duo.

At least ten students were suspended and many others received detention after they staged a peaceful protest of the school’s decision. Five of those suspended are demanding that their suspensions be cancelled, their records cleared, their attorney’s fees paid, and that damages be awarded for the school’s violation of their constitutional right to free speech. Approximately 200 students took part in the “walkout” protest on May 7, the date that the Indigo Girls were to have performed.

“It’s like picketing a segregated restaurant and being charged with felony riot,” said ACLU/SC Executive Director Steven Bates.

Sources:

Planet Out - May 13, 1998