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PNS Daily Newscast - April 22, 2019 


The vigilante accused of holding migrants at border to appear in court today. Also on our Monday rundown: The US Supreme Court takes up including citizenship questions on the next census this week. Plus, Earth Day finds oceans becoming plastic soup.

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High School Club Ban Could Mean “Detention” for NM School

October 1, 2007

Farmington, NM – Students trying form a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington were turned down after the school received complaints from some parents. However, the school may have to reconsider. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has sent a letter to the school principal about the decision. The ACLU's Whitney Potter says seven recent federal court cases in similar situations make it clear: schools must allow GSAs, as well as other, non-curricular clubs.

"They make the school available to other clubs, so they have to make it available to this one. The school cannot pick and choose which clubs it can endorse, based on a narrow set of beliefs of a few parents."

Potter says the basic issue is that forming any club at a school is a First Amendment right, even if it makes others uncomfortable.

"It's an issue of free speech. Neither the school nor the parents can stipulate which speech they want to hear and which speech they don’t. It has to be a fair and open forum."

Potter says GSAs are intended to create an atmosphere of respect and tolerance among students, and a safe place from bullies. Those against the idea at the Farmington school say it violates their religious beliefs. Principal Ann Gattis has not yet responded to the letter.

Deborah Smith/John Robinson, Public News Service - NM