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« on: April 02, 2005, 03:04:07 PM »

Mandatory 'Diversity' Training Unconstitutional, Lawsuit Says

by Jim Brown
April 1, 2005

(AgapePress) - A Kentucky school district has been sued for allegedly telling students that if they believe homosexual behavior is wrong, they must keep their opinions to themselves.

The lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) alleges that the Boyd County Board of Education has prohibited students from expressing a view that homosexuality is morally wrong and harmful to society. Each fall, the district requires all middle-school and high-school students to take part in a one-hour "diversity training" session.

ADF attorney Kevin Theriot says by forbidding speech against homosexuality, the district is engaging in unconstitutional censorship.

"That's a restriction of speech," the attorney says, "and the real problem is they encourage the opposite viewpoint, that homosexuality is healthy lifestyle that ought to be encouraged. So they're encouraging one viewpoint of speech but discouraging another." Theriot calls that "blatant censorship" that is not tolerated by either the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Constitution.

School policy and practice mandate students' attendance at the session. But Theriot says parents should be allowed to opt their children out of the training if it conflicts with their ideological or religious beliefs.

"In that training they're attempting to change the beliefs of the students about homosexuality, even if their parents don't consent to that -- and right now there is no 'opt out' provision for students," he explains. "As a matter of fact, the student plaintiff in this case got an unexcused absence when he didn't go."

The mandatory diversity training resulted from the settlement of an ACLU lawsuit that had challenged the district's ban against a Gay-Straight Alliance club.
Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.


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