ERIC Number: ED473898
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Gay-Straight Alliances and Other Gay-Related Student Groups.
This paper examines the legislative history of the federal Equal Access Act (EAA), which states that public secondary schools must recognize gay-related groups where the schools receive federal assistance and have a "limited open forum." If the EAA applies, a school must provide a gay-related student group with access to the school that is equal to the access provided to other student groups. The legislative history of the EAA arises principally from debates in Congress. The final debates in both the House and Senate largely presume one of two premises: either gay-related clubs will have the right to meet if the bill passes, or gay clubs already have the right to meet and the point of the bill is to equalize such groups with religious groups. This paper looks at the background of the EAA; Congressional discussion of gay student groups; the fact that the first amendment already gives gay groups the right to meet; and other relevant topics of discussion (maturity of high school students, fears about outside groups, schools' attempts to evade the EAA, and school claims of disruption by controversy). (SM)
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, High School Students, Homosexuality, Public Schools, Secondary Education, Student Organizations, Student Rights
Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, 121 W. 27th St. #804, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212-727-0135; Fax: 212-727-0254; Web site: http://www.glsen.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Access Act 1984