[a courageous young woman, 16 year old Tiffany Bechtel, vice-president of the newly approved Gay Straight Alliance club...image credit Chambersburg Public Opinion]
Well, at least the official school board position was reversed last week (27 March), though I doubt the underlying homophobia was.
Back on 1 March I blogged about the 5-4 decision by the Chambersburg School Board to not allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club in the high school. This vote despite the warnings of the board's solicitor and pleas from students to allow the club.
Then the ACLU threatened a lawsuit and the board backed off--or at least one formerly opposed member backed off--rendering the revote a narrow 5-4 approval of the club.
The local Chambersburg Public Opinion newspaper reported:
Board member Carl Barton reversed his initial vote on Feb. 27, when he helped reject the club. Also voting to approve the club Wednesday were Anne Boryan, Philip Miracle, Kim Amsley-Camp and Joan Smith.
Board President Stanley Helman and members Norman Blowers, Joe Tosten and Fred Rice did not vote to approve.
Barton read a statement prior to asking the board to rescind the previous vote. The board voted to rescind the decision by a 5-4 vote.
"There is no question that this board has a right and responsibility to approve and regulate non-curricular clubs," said Barton. "Like any other action of the board, a decision to approve or not approve can sometimes be followed by revelations that come to light only after the vote and challenge original assumptions upon which the decision was made."
Barton also said there is a need at CASHS for both a multicultural society and a GSA.A big round of applause for Carl Barton and his changed vote, as well as to Anne Boryan, Philip Miracle, Kim Amsley-Camp and Joan Smith for their approval votes.
A big chorus of boos for Stanley Helman, Norman Blowers, Joe Tosten and Fred Rice, champions of bigotry. They knew the vote had to pass, else the ACLU would rain fire on their heads. They also knew that Mr. Barton's changed vote would mean the club would pass, thus they could still cast a meaningless NO vote with the minority...and maintain their "principles" and street creds with the local homophobic community.
Well played, but karma's a bitch, you know?