December 23, 2021

In injunction, judge tells Pendleton Heights High School to treat LGBTQ club like other student clubs

The lawsuit alleges the school's principal does not consider the Pendleton Heights GSA Club as an "official" student-led club, despite allowing it to meet on campus after school.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The lawsuit alleges the school's principal does not consider the Pendleton Heights GSA Club as an "official" student-led club, despite allowing it to meet on campus after school.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A judge has granted a preliminary injunction in a case between an east central Indiana high school and a student group represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, alleging unfair treatment.

The lawsuit, filed in September against Pendleton Heights High School, said an LGBTQ+-focused student club was prevented from advertising on the school’s radio station and bulletin boards. Court documents also said the school principal has prevented the club from fundraising on school property.

Read More: Indiana ACLU Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of LGBTQ Student Club Alleging Unfair Treatment

In a ruling this week, US District Court Judge James Sweeney II is requiring Pendleton Heights to provide the student group with the same rights provided to other “noncurriculum” groups, giving the example of an “Outdoor Adventure Club.” Specifically, the order includes inclusion in the student handbook and the right to advertise and fundraise.

In a statement, ACLU of Indiana says it hopes public schools “take notice” and provide equal treatment to all student groups.

The office of Pendleton Heights High School is closed for winter break.

The injunction is not the final ruling and the case continues.

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