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Why is it Harder for Atheists and Gays to Form High School Clubs?
There are two kinds of student clubs in high schools that are tough to form, no matter that laws states that they can't be discriminated against (when there are other clubs) just because they are unpopular groups.
They are, of course, atheist/secular/humanist clubs and gays /gay rights clubs. In the state of Oklahoma (what is it with Oklahoma on these issues) a student who wanted to start a Secular Student Alliance chapter at his local high school was told by his principal that he wanted to start a "hate group".
The principal called the student to his office and badgered and tried to pressure him not to form the club. The student informed the principal that he had legal representation, if necessary. The principal seeing that his bigotry won't stand when it comes to the courts, backed down from direct pressure, but than turned his focus. The student's teacher advisor for the club backed out of that role. A talk with the principal? Students were told they couldn't join by their parents.
O.K., atheists are disliked and even hated in much of America. Oklahoma also, is the home of the two worst homophobic bigots in the U.S. Senate, Tom Coburn and James Inhoffe. It hardly represents the average American state. But, atheists and humanists should have the same rights, not just in theory but practice, to form clubs. After all, atheists aren't protesting against Christian student organizations. Gays aren't stating that Christian conservatives can't set up Fellowship of Christian Athletes clubs.
Indeed, students who wanted to start a student Gay-Straight Alliance in Long Island, NY, were denied by the principal. This again, was a violation of their rights because other students have the ability to form clubs. The principal used the term "f.ggot" by the way. Why, I am not sure, but I can't realize in what context or usage it could be defended.
Also, a student leader was called to the school psychologist's office and threatened with a ban in participating in senior activities. Now, remember, this isn't Oklahoma. This isn't even Kentucky. It is New York state. If in New York students have trouble in getting such a club formed, how much progress is necessary in much of the rest of the country?
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