We told you earlier in the week about Clovis High School, where administrative officials were so opposed to allowing gay students to form a Gay-Straight Alliance, that they were considering closing every single school club in order to dance around the issue, and give as big of a symbolic middle finger as possible to the district’s gay students.
Well, after a vote on Tuesday night, Clovis has gone ahead and banned the formation of all extra-curricular activities and organizations, and terminated those that had already formed.
The Clovis school board voted in favor of the change at a Tuesday night meeting.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has called on school officials to reconsider.
“Non-curricular activities are a vital part of any educational program and provide students with enriching and rewarding experiences,” ACLU of New Mexico staff attorney Alexandra Freedman Smith wrote in a letter to the board. “At Clovis High School, you have non-curricular service clubs, religious clubs, a chess club, and other similarly engaging groups. To simply discontinue these clubs would deprive all students of a rich and diverse set of activities to engage in outside of class. Eliminating these clubs would doubtlessly diminish the vibrancy of the high school community in Clovis.”
School officials have denied the charge that it acted to thwart the formation of a gay-straight alliance club, saying the timing was coincidental. Such clubs are meant to create a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.
“This sort of tactic has been used in the past by school districts to discourage gay-straight clubs from forming,” Micah McCoy of the ACLU of New Mexico said. “A lot of alarm bells went off when we saw this.”
We find it incredibly unsavory for a group of adults tasked with educating children to outright lie to the impressionable students in their care. Saying the closing of all clubs is one hell of a coincidence.
We’re equally concerned that Clovis officials have put the students who attempted to form the Gay-Straight Alliance at an incredible risk of bullying and just straight up general dislike from the legion of students who have had their clubs cancelled. Smooth move, jerks.