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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Student Fighting to Start Gay-Straight Alliance at Flour Bluff High

By Lindsay Curtis -

FLOUR BLUFF- Nikki Peet is a high school senior who believes creating a gay-straight alliance at Flour Bluff High School would give her classmates a safe place to express themselves, when they feel they have no where else to turn. But, she says her school has turned its back on her.
Peet has dealt with adversity her whole life, but she never thought her school principal would try to prevent her from starting up a gay-straight alliance, a club she had hoped would promote tolerance and unity at Flour Bluff. "I know how it feels to get teased or bullied... so definitely I think it is my responsibility," said Peet.
She says since November, her principal has found ways to prevent her from starting the alliance. Enter Pete Rodriguez, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. "Unfortunately it's starting to look like the bullying is coming from administration, instead of students," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says it's against the law for the school to prevent Nikki from starting the organization. He's sent emails, and hand-delivered letters to the school principal and superintendent explaining why. "(The principal) kept giving her reasons why he didn't want it started... Finally, he decided he doesn't want the club to deal with anything to do with gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender issues," said Rodriguez.
Nikki says no matter what the school does to try to stop her, she's not backing down. "We're not gonna give up! They have great strategies, but I think we are all uniting and it's so beautiful. I've never seen this much support," said Peet.
Peet and Rodriguez say that several gay-straight alliances and other similar organizations around the coastal bend have joined their cause, and if the club isn't approved by Monday they'll start planning a protest outside of Flour Bluff High...
We asked for an interview with Flour Bluff administration, but the district spokesperson told us no one will be talking about the issue on camera.
This afternoon, school superintendent, Dr. Julie Carbajal, sent a statement to 6 News. It reads: Flour Bluff ISD is committed to supporting the cultural diversity of all students in our community. Flour Bluff ISD does not discriminate. We care deeply for our students and make every effort to prepare them for college, careers, and life. We work to consider the needs of all students in regards to the education, vision, mission,and goals of our schools.
As policy FN-AB clearly delineates Flour Bluff ISD does not have a limited open forum for secondary school students. We believe the law supports the district's policy and practice. The current policy, included for your review, was adopted in 2005."
At this time it is unclear whether the district is going to allow the organization on campus.


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