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Court Backs Equal Access for Gay Student Group

Stirring the culture wars a bit just as Republicans are arriving in St. Paul, Minn., for their convention, a federal appeals court has upheld the right of a gay student group to have the same access at a Minnesota public high school for meetings and communications as other student groups.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, ruled unanimously that the group Straights and Gays for Equality had the same right under the federal Equal Access Act to facilities as other student groups at Maple Grove High School in the Osseo, Minn., area school district.

The court rejected the schools arguments that other student groups were curriculum-related and thus no limited public form has been created under the federal law, which requires federally funded schools to treat non-curriculum related student clubs on equal terms.

Off to the GOP Convention: Speaking of Minnesota, I'll be heading to St. Paul this weekend to cover the Republican National Convention for Education Week. I've been heavily involved in our coverage of the Democratic National Convention this week, which is basically why I haven't been updating the School Law Blog much this week. I will be back to blogging here the week after next.

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