In response to a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Buffalo Public School District announced today that it is taking immediate steps to start the process of ending the discrimination faced by LGBT students at McKinley High School. The announcement comes two days after the NYCLU filed a federal lawsuit, which documented examples of unequal treatment of LGBTQ students and the school’s denial of attempts to form a Gay-Straight Alliance. The district announced that the superintendent has directed staff to assist students in the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance within the school as soon as possible. The district also said senior students were informed today that they may attend next week’s prom with their guest of choice, under the age of 21, regardless of that person’s gender. The NYCLU lawsuit noted that in past years, students at McKinley were told that "couples" prom tickets were only available to different-sex couples.
The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:
"This is a welcome first step. We are pleased that the district has begun the process of protecting the rights of LGBTQ students at McKinley High School, and we are thrilled all McKinley students will be welcome at prom. Although the GSA has not yet begun meeting, and our case remains active, we are optimistic that the district will work with us to address the issues raised in the case. The discouragement, inaction and homophobia that McKinley students have endured must end. All schools and districts around New York must recognize that protecting LGBTQ students is not optional."