Lake County School Board tables vote on Gay Straight Alliance - FOX 35 News Orlando

Lake County School Board tables vote on Gay Straight Alliance

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In a 4 to 1 vote, Lake County School Board members voted to table a decision to allow Gay Straight Alliance clubs in middle schools and high schools. The decision was met with a roar of  applause as well as anger.
"I think tabling was probably the best thing," said Pastor Gerald Bustin.
Unlike previous board meetings on the issue, those opposed to the Gay Straight Alliance came out in full force,  including a church group that traveled from New York.
"If that's your choice then that's fine, but you don't have to put it in every one's face," said Linda Derwick.
Board members said they tabled the issue, because a new state law changes the definition of secondary schools in Florida, which subsequently changed the application of a federal law that they used to guide their decision.
"I was kind of sad that everyone but 1 person up there was okay with them tabling it," said Lake County student Bayli Silberstein.
After the decision, Carver Middle School student Bayli Silberstein walked out in tears, she wanted to start the club to combat bullying at her school.
"We're taught to stand up for what we believe in, they're fighting so hard to deny my rights and what I can do, and it's really difficult to sit through that," Silberstein said.
"They're saying no, it's not that bad, but I'm proof that on several occasions I've been spit on," said another student, Dana Herron.
But supporters say they won't give up their fight.
"To postpone it is harming all the children who are being bullied right now," said Joyce Hamilton Henry of the ACLU.
"Tabling is tabling.  We'll be back.  We are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Questioning) people and we have been around for a long time, and we have no intention of going anywhere else," said Rev. Carol Chambers of the Open Circle Metropolitan Community Church.

The new state law goes into effect July 1.   There is no timetable on when the school board will re-visit the issue.  They said they will go back to the drawing board through a series of workshops.


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