The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a group known for defending anti-gay stances and positions, has filed a federal civil rights suit against Midway High School and the Sampson County School Board (near Wilmington, NC).
According to an Associated Press article of 365gay.com News and a press release from the ADF, the ADF claims that the administrators at Midway High School prevented a student from handing out anti-gay literature in conjunction with the Day of Truth, which was held on the day following the Day of Silence. The Day of Truth is sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund and the group had urged students to take the material to school and speak the “truth” about the “evils” of homosexuality.
According to the AP article:
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund said students at Midway High School were allowed to participate in the April 26 Day of Silence, an event promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.
The group said student Benjamin Arthurs was refused permission to wear a Day of Truth shirt on the following day and distribute cards presenting a Christian viewpoint on homosexuality during non-instructional time. He was suspended this week for ignoring the warning.
The county school superintendent said the student was allowed to wear his shirt but was told he couldn’t pass out leaflets.
“School officials shouldn’t be treating religious students any differently than they treat other students,” David Cortman, an attorney with the group, said in a statement.
According to the lawsuit, Sampson County Board of Education Superintendent Stewart Hobbs said Arthurs would be “pushing his religion on others” and “religion is not allowed in school.”
Hobbs said in a telephone interview that the student was given in-school suspension for insubordination after disobeying the principal about the leaflets, but that the student’s mother decided to take out-of-school suspension.
“He chose to pass out the fliers,” Hobbs said.
The suit, filed in federal court in Wilmington, names the Sampson County Board of Education, Hobbs, and Midway principal Gaynor Canady as defendants.
So… was this student treated unfairly? Yeah, probably… especially if those students participating in the Day of Silence were able to pass out their “speaking cards” explaining why they weren’t speaking. Needless to say (as much as I despise the ADF’s “Day of Truth” message), the school administrators really messed up.