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East High Gay / Straight Alliance v. Board of Education | Complaint

18 March 1998 Published in Litigation Materials

East High Gay/Straight Alliance v. Board of Education

JON W. DAVIDSON
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
6030 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, California 90036
(213) 937-2728, ext. 228

LAURA MILLIKEN GRAY (5960)
MARLIN G. CRIDDLE (6083)
Cooperating Attorneys for the
American Civil Liberties Union of Utah Foundation, Inc.
355 North 300 West, Suite I
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
(801) 521-9862

(Additional counsel for the Plaintiffs listed on the next page)

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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH, CENTRAL DIVISION

COMPLAINT

Civil No: 2:98CV001193

Judge Bruce Jenkins

EAST HIGH GAY/STRAIGHT ALLIANCE, an unincorporated association; IVY FOX, a minor, by and through her mother and next friend KAY KOSOW FOX; and KEYSHA BARNES, a minor, by and through her father and next friend JAMES BARNES, Plaintiffs,

v.

BOARD OF EDUCATION OF SALT LAKE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, a body corporate of the State of Utah, DARLINE ROBLES, Superintendent of Salt Lake City School District, in her official capacity, and HAROLD J. TRUSSEL, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, of Salt Lake City School District, in his official capacity, Defendants.

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Additional counsel for the Plaintiffs:

DAVID S. BUCKEL
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
120 Wall Street, Suite 1500
New York, New York 10005
(212) 809-8585, ext. 212

KATHRYN D. KENDELL (5398)
SHANNON MINTER
National Center for Lesbian Rights
870 Market Street, Suite 570
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 392-6257

KELLI M. EVANS
ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Inc.
1663 Mission Street, Suite 460
San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 621-2493

WAYNE S. BRAVEMAN
Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe
601 South Figueroa St., 40th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90017
(213) 689-7505

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs East High Gay/Straight Alliance, Ivy Fox by and through her mother and next friend Kay Kosow Fox, and Keysha Barnes by and through her father and next friend James Barnes (collectively referred to as the "Plaintiffs"), by and through their attorneys, state and allege against defendants Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake City School District Superintendent Darline Robles, and Salt Lake City School District Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, Harold J. Trussel (collectively referred to as "Defendants") as follows:

PRELIMINARY STATEMEINT

1. The Plaintiffs bring this action under the federal Equal Access Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 4071 et seq.), the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the federal Declaratory Judgment Act (28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02), and the federal Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988) to obtain declaratory, injunctive and compensatory relief. The Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that Defendants adopted and are maintaining a policy and practice, in violation of federal statutory and constitutional law, prohibiting the East/High Gay Straight Alliance and other disfavored noncurricular student groups from meeting on the premises of public secondary schools within the Salt Lake City School District on terms equal to those afforded favored noncurricular clubs, which have been allowed, and which continue to be allowed, to meet on the premises of those schools during noninstructional time. Further, the Plaintiffs seek an injunction prohibiting Defendants from violating the Plaintiffs’ rights under either the federal Equal Access Act or the United States Constitution, as well as compensatory damages, in at least a nominal amount, for violation of the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This action is based on, and seeks to redress deprivations under color of law of rights and privileges secured by, the federal Equal Access Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. This action thus arises under the laws and the Constitution of the United States. In addition, declaratory relief is appropriate in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02. This Court accordingly has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, and 2201-02 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

3. All of the Plaintiffs reside in Salt Lake County, State of Utah, and within the Central Division of this Judicial District. The Plaintiffs are informed and believe that all Defendants reside in Salt Lake County, State of Utah, and within the Central Division of this Judicial District. Further, all or substantially all of the events that give rise to the claims in this action occurred in the Central Division of this Judicial District. The venue for this action accordingly is properly in the Central Division of this Judicial District, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

PARTIES

4. Plaintiff East High Gay/Straight Alliance (the "Alliance") is an unincorporated association of students enrolled at East High School, a public secondary school located within Salt Lake City School District. The Alliance has standing to bring these claims pursuant to Rule 17(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Alliance sues on its own behalf and on behalf of its members.

5. Plaintiff Ivy Fox is a minor and sues by and through her mother and next friend Kay Kosow Fox. Ivy Fox is a 10th grade student at East High School and is a member of the Alliance.

6. Plaintiff Keysha Barnes is a minor and sues by and through her father and next friend James Barnes. Keysha Barnes is an 11th grade student at East High School and also is a member of the Alliance.

7. Defendant Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District (the "Board") is a statutorily-created body corporated under Utah law. The Board controls and operates the public secondary schools within Salt Lake City School District (the "District"), including East High School, Highland High School, and West High School. The Board also is a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and was acting under color of state law at all times relevant to this complaint.

8. Defendant Darline Robles ("Ms. Robles") is Superintendent of the District. She is sued in her official capacity. Ms. Robles was acting under color of law at all times relevant to this complaint.

9. Defendant Harold J. Trussel ("Mr. Trussel") is Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, of the District. He is sued in his official capacity. Mr. Trussel was acting under color of law at all times relevant to this complaint.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

10. The Alliance was formed in February of 1998. It was initiated by and is composed of students enrolled at East High School who support its purposes and wish to participate in its activities. As set forth in its bylaws, the Alliance seeks: to "increase awareness of diversity in high schools, to decrease prejudice, and to help students feel safe and welcome in their school environment;" to "assist all students in promoting self-esteem and self-respect [and] to help students feel valued and welcome at East High School;" to "provide a forum for educating [its] members about gay, lesbian and bisexual[ ] issues and culture," as well as to help create "a comfortable social environment" for its members; to "support lesbian, gay, bisexual [and] straight students, as well as students who have lesbian, gay or bisexual family members or friends;" and to "provide students with a ”hate-free zone” and to discourage homophobia, anti-gay violence, bigotry and prejudice within the school community and the city and state." Members of the Alliance, including plaintiffs Ivy Fox and Keysha Bames, seek to meet with one another on the premises of East High School during noninstructional time, as a noncurricular student group, to provide an opportunity for timely discussion of social and political issues of interest to them and to plan and perform community service projects. The Alliance is open to all students attending East High School, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. The Alliance has members who are heterosexual as well as members who are gay, lesbian or bisexual, in addition to members who are not certain of their sexual orientation and members who have not made their sexual orientation known to others.

11. Until the 1995-96 school year, Defendants allowed students enrolled in public secondary schools within the District to meet with one another on school premises during noninstructional time at those schools in order to participate in a wide range of noncurricular student groups, including political, ethnic, social, community service, career-related, and recreational clubs. Such clubs are valuable in many respects. Among other virtues, such clubs provide ways for students to test, develop, and improve their citizenship and leadership skills through conducting club elections, meetings, and activities; such clubs provide opportunities for students to learn about matters of interest to them, to develop important and healthy interpersonal skills, to enjoy recreational activities, and to conduct community service projects; and such clubs provide a basis for colleges, universities, and employers to evaluate applicants for admission and employment.

12. In December of 1995, a previous group of students (not including the Plaintiffs) sought permission from Defendants to meet during noninstructional time on the school premises of East High School as a noncurricular student group known as the Gay/Straight Alliance of East High. Rather than grant such permission to that group, and because the Board and members of the public disfavored the content of the speech and viewpoints of that group and opposed allowing any group of students interested in discussing gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues to meet on school premises, the Board voted on February 20, 1996 to prohibit all student groups or organizations "not directly related to the curriculum" to "organize or meet on school property" at any public secondary school in the District. On or about that date, Defendants issued a written policy purporting not to allow a "limited open forum," as that term is defined by the federal Equal Access Act, to exist at the schools within the District.

13. On April 18, 1996, pursuant to the previously-mentioned February 20, 1996 policy, Defendants released lists of clubs Defendants described as "curriculum related clubs approved for the 1996-97 school year" at East High School, Highland High School, and West High School, as well as lists of clubs that were "not approved" for the 1996-97 school year at those schools .

14. According to the aforementioned released lists, Defendants terminated forty-six clubs that previously had been allowed to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools within the District because Defendants asserted that those clubs were not directly related to the school curriculum and were initiated by students. Included within the list of "not approved" clubs were such clubs as the Human Rights Club, Key Club, Native American Club, and Polynesian Club (all of which formerly met at East High School), the Advancement of Hispanic Students, Ethnic Alliance, Highland Organized for Planet Earth, Juveniles in Highland Against Drugs, and Students Against Drunk Driving (all of which formerly met at Highland High School) and the Black Students Union, Latino Pride Club, Native American Club, Students of the Orient, Young Democrats, and Young Republicans (all of which formerly met at West High School).

15. On the list of clubs that Defendants described as "curriculum related clubs" that were "approved" for the 1996-97 school year were clubs that do not meet the legal criteria under the federal Equal Access Act for actually being curriculum related. Future Business Leaders of America and Future Homemakers of America are examples of such clubs

16. At the same time as Defendants released these lists, Defendants announced that students at each of the public high schools within the District would be allowed to charter additional "curriculum-related" clubs so long as they "fall within [Defendants’] policy."

17. The Plaintiffs have not sought to have the Alliance chartered as a curriculum related student club because the Plaintiffs are not seeking to have Defendants sponsor or endorse the Alliance and because the Plaintiffs do not want the Alliance to be controlled by Defendants. At the same time, it would be futile for the Plaintiffs to seek permission for the Alliance to meet on the premises of East High School as a noncurriculum related student group because Defendants have continued to maintain their policy against allowing clubs that Defendants have not designated as curriculum related to meet on public high school property Within the District. The current East High Student Handbook specifically warns that "Any individual or group wishing to initiate a club ... must meet the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education’s policies and procedures regarding clubs" and that any "student-organized group" that has not been approved "will be considered illegal and will be disbanded."

18. At all times relevant to this action, up to and including the present, the District and each of the secondary schools within it have received federal financial assistance.

19. Under the federal Equal Access Act, a public secondary school creates a "limited open forum" whenever it grants an offering to or opportunity for any noncurriculum related student group to meet on school premises during noninstructional time.

20. Under the federal Equal Access Act, when a public secondary school which receives federal funds creates a limited open forum by allowing one or more noncurriculum related student groups to meet on school premises during noninstructional time, the school may not deny equal access to or discriminate against any students who wish to meet on school premises during such time on the basis of the content of the speech at such meetings. In addition, under the federal Equal Access Act, the school may not sponsor or control the content of the meetings of any noncurriculum related student groups that meet within the school’s limited open forum.

21. Under the federal Equal Access Act, a limited open forum in a school is significantly different from a forum that a school, operating as a civic center, might allow for community groups of young people or adults, who might meet on school premises in the late afternoons or evenings, because in a limited open forum, among other benefits, students do not have to pay for meeting space or arrange and pay for insurance coverage; students can meet at convenient times; and students have access to important means of communicating with their peers regarding their meetings and club activities by, for example, being allowed to: make loudspeaker and closed circuit television announcements during instructional time at school, post bulletin board announcements at school, be listed or featured in school handbooks, yearbooks, flyers, and other publications, and participate in recruitment, fundraising, and promotional activities at school, such as during Club Rush and Spring Fest at East High School.

22. Although Future Business Leaders of America and Future Homemakers of American, and other clubs like them, are valuable in the important benefits they provide students, those clubs nonetheless are "noncurriculum related student groups," as the term is used in the federal Equal Access Act. Despite Defendants’ attempted classification of them as "curriculum related," the actual activities of those clubs are not directly related to school curriculum, and participation in those clubs is not required for a particular course and does not result in academic credit.

23. Defendants’ February 20, 1996 statement of policy, referred to above, remains current and in effect as a statement of policy at the present time.

24. Defendants continue to maintain Future Business Leaders of America and Future Homemakers of America and other clubs like them on the list of "approved" clubs for the current school year and Defendants allow those clubs to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools within the District at the present time, even though those clubs actually are noncurriculum related student groups within the meaning of the federal Equal Access Act.

25. Furthermore, even though Defendants have maintained their February 20, 1996 statement of policy, referred to above, in practice Defendants knowingly have allowed certain additional clubs that are not on the list of "approved" clubs for the current school year to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools within the District at the present time. The "Key Club" is an example of such a club. Although the Key Club and other clubs like it are valuable in the important benefits they provide students, those clubs nonetheless are "noncurriculum related student groups," as that term is used in the federal Equal Access Act. Defendants conceded that those clubs are noncurriculum related by placing those clubs on Defendants’ lists of clubs that were "non approved," as opposed to the lists of clubs that Defendants described as "curriculum related" and "approved." In addition, the activities of those clubs are not directly related to school curriculum, and participation in those clubs is not required for a particular course and does note result in academic credit.

26. Thus, (1) Defendants improperly classify some student groups that are noncurriculum related as curriculum related in order to allow those student groups to meet during noninstructional time on school premises at public secondary schools within the District, pursuant to Defendants’ written "policy," and (2) notwithstanding their written "policy," Defendants further allow some concededly noncurriculum related student groups also to meet during noninstructional time on school premises at public secondary schools within the District. In both these ways (either of which would be sufficient), Defendants have created a limited open forum at the public secondary schools within the District, notwithstanding Defendants’ written "policy" purporting not to allow such a limited open forum. Such a limited open forum exists at the present time at all of the public secondary schools within the District.

27. By forbidding noncurriculum related student groups whose speech Defendants disfavor (including the Alliance) to meet on the same terms and conditions as student groups Defendants prefer (such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the Key Club), Defendants have denied those disfavored student groups (including the Alliance) equal access to the schools’ limited open forum and Defendants have discriminated against those disfavored student groups (including the Alliance) on the basis of the content of the speech at their meetings.

28. By allowing student groups such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the Key Club to meet during noninstructional time on school premises, Defendants also have created a limited public forum at those schools for purposes of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. This limited public forum is significantly different from a forum that a school, operating as a civic center, might allow for community groups of young people or adults, who might meet on school premises in the late afternoons or evenings, because in this limited public forum, among other benefits, students do not have to pay for meeting space or arrange and pay for insurance coverage; students can meet at convenient times; and students have access to important means of communicating with their peers regarding their meetings and club activities by, for example, being allowed to: make loudspeaker and closed circuit television announcements during instructional time at school, post bulletin board announcements at school, be listed or featured in school handbooks, yearbooks, flyers, and other publications, and participate in recruitment, fundraising, and promotional activities at school, such as during Club Rush and Spring Fest at East High School.

29. Defendants have not established or applied clear or consistent, content-neutral criteria for determining which student groups will be allowed to use the limited public forum Defendants have created. To the contrary, Defendants improperly have afforded themselves unlimited discretion, have applied vague standards, and have acted arbitrarily and in a biased manner in deciding which student groups will be allowed to use the limited public forum Defendants have created.

30. By not allowing certain student groups whose speech Defendants disfavor (including the Alliance) to use the limited public forum Defendants have created on the same terms and conditions as student groups such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the Key Club, because of the content of the expressive activities in which the nonfavored student groups (including the Alliance) engage and because of the viewpoints of the members of those nonfavored student groups, Defendants have interfered with, abridged and violated the rights of those groups and their members (including the Plaintiffs) to freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process of law, and equal protection of the laws.

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF

Right to Equal Access

(Violation of Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 4071 et seq., Violation of Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, and Declaratory Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02)

31. The Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs I through 27 of this complaint as if set forth fully herein.

32. The federal Equal Access Act provides, at 20 U.S.C. § 4071(b), that: A public secondary school has a limited open forum whenever such school grants an offering to or opportunity for one or more noncurriculum related student groups to meet on school premises during noninstructional time.

33. The Equal Access Act further provides, at 20 U.S.C. § 4071(a), that: It shall be unlawful for any public secondary school which receives Federal financial assistance and which has a limited open forum to deny equal access or a fair opportunity to, or discriminate against, any students who wish to conduct a meeting within that limited open forum on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meetings.

34. Defendants have allowed two sets of noncurriculum related student groups to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools in the District: (1) those actually noncurriculum related student groups that Defendants call curriculum related by placement on Defendants’ lists of "approved" clubs, and (2) those noncurriculum related student groups that Defendants permit to meet based on Defendants’ approval of the content of those groups’ speech, even though Defendants have not classified those clubs as "approved" or curriculum related.

35. Through their conduct, Defendants have created and are maintaining a limited open forum, within the meaning of the federal Equal Access Act, at the public secondary schools within the District, including East High School, Highland High School, and West High School.

36. Defendants have violated and are continuing to violate the federal Equal Access Act by providing an opportunity for one or more noncurriculum related student groups to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools in the District that receive federal financial assistance, while denying equal access to and discriminating against students, including the Plaintiffs, who wish to conduct meetings on the same terms as those student groups Defendants allow to meet, and basing such denial of equal access on the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meetings. Defendants also have violated the federal Equal Access Act by sponsoring the meetings of those noncurriculum related student groups that Defendants have placed on their "approved" lists.

37. Defendants’ actions taken in violation of the Equal Access Act constitute violations of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988.

38. As a result of Defendants’ violations of the Equal Access Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1871, the Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer injury.

39. Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 4071 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from denying them equal access to, and a fair opportunity to conduct meetings of the Alliance in, the limited open forum Defendants have created, and from discriminating alainst the Plaintiffs on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at meetings of the Alliance.

40. An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between the Plaintiffs and Defendants. The Plaintiffs contend that a limited open forum exists at the public secondary schools within the District and that Defendants unlawfully have denied equal access to that forum and discriminated against the Plaintiffs and members of all other lawful non-curricular student groups that are being precluded from meeting on the premises of public secondary schools within the District by Defendants’ policy and practice. The Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Defendants dispute these contentions and take the position that their policy and practice are lawful. Pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 4071, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, the Plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration of the parties’ rights and responsibilities.

41. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, the Plaintiffs are entitled to an award against Defendants of the Plaintiffs’ reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with this action.

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF

Freedoms of Expression and Association and Rights to Due Process and Equal Protection (Violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Violation of Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, and Declaratory Relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02)

42. The Plaintiffs re-allege and incorporate by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 17, 22 through 25, and 27 through 30 of this complaint as if set forth fully herein.

43. Defendants are a government body and government officials and are therefore subject to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

44. Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Defendants may not abridge the freedoms of expression or association of students enrolled at public secondary schools within the District, including the Plaintiffs.

45. Defendants have allowed two sets of noncurricular student groups to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools in the District: those on Defendants’ "approved" lists (identified as curricular when in fact they are noncurricular), and some of those not on Defendants’ "approved" lists but nonetheless favored based on the content of those groups’ speech and their viewpoints.

46. Through their conduct, Defendants have created and are maintaining a limited public forum, within the meaning of the case law interpreting the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, at the public secondary schools within the District, including East High School, Highland High School, and West High School.

47. The Plaintiffs have a strong liberty interest in exercising their rights to speak freely and associate freely on an equal basis with student groups that Defendants allow to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools within the District.

48. Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Defendants may not deny due process of law or equal protection of the laws to students enrolled at public secondary schools within the District, including the Plaintiffs.

49. Defendants have violated and are continuing to violate the Plaintiffs’ freedoms of expression and association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Plaintiffs’ rights to due process of law and equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in several ways: by prohibiting the Plaintiffs from meeting at the limited public forum created and maintained by Defendants at the public secondary schools within the District; by providing an opportunity for one or more noncurriculum related student groups to meet during noninstructional time on the premises of public secondary schools in the District, while denying equal access to and discriminating against students who wish to conduct meetings on the same terms, including the Plaintiffs, on the basis of the content of the speech of, and viewpoints expressed by, those groups and their members; by failing to establish and apply clear and consistent, content-neutral criteria for determining which student groups will be allowed to use the limited public forum Defendants have created; and bv affording themselves unlimited discretion, applying vague standards, and acting arbitrarily and in a biased manner in deciding which students will be allowed to use the limited public forum Defendants have created.

50. Defendants’ actions taken in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution violate the federal Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988.

51. As a result of Defendants’ violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1871, the Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer injury.

52. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from: interfering in any way with the Plaintiffs’ right to use the limited public forum Defendants have created on the same terms as Defendants have allowed student groups such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the Key Club to use it; discriminating against the Plaintiffs on the basis of the content of the speech of, and viewpoints expressed by, the Alliance and its members; and restricting the Plaintiffs’ freedom of expression or association other than through the application of established, clear, content-neutral, unbiased, non-arbitrary standards that are consistently applied to all student groups using or seeking to use the limited public forum Defendants have created.

53. Pursuant to 42 U.S. C. § 1983, the Plaintiffs are entitled to compensatory damages against Defendants and each of them, in at least a nominal amount, for the violation of the Plaintiffs’ rights and the injuries Defendants have caused.

54. An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between the Plaintiffs and Defendants. The Plaintiffs contend that a limited public forum exists at the public secondary schools within the District and that Defendants unconstitutionally have denied equal access to that forum to, and discriminated against, the Plaintiffs and members of all other lawful noncurricular student groups that are being precluded from meeting on the premises of public secondary schools within the District by Defendants’ policy and practice, in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of expression and association and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantees of due process of law and equal protection of the laws. The Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Defendants dispute these contentions and take the position that their policy and practice are constitutional. Pursuant to 42 U.S. C. § 198”1 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, the Plaintiffs are entitled to a declaration of the parties’ rights and responsibilities.

55. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, the Plaintiffs are entitled to an award against Defendants of the Plaintiffs’ reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with this action.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court enter judgment in favor of Plaintiffs, and:

AS TO THE PLAINTIFFS’ FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF, pursuant to 20 U.S.C. §§ 4071 et seq., 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988,

(1) grant the Plaintiffs preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from denying the Plaintiffs equal access to, and a fair opportunity to conduct meetings of the Alliance in, the limited open forum Defendants have created, and from discriminating against the Plaintiffs on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at meetings of the Alliance; and

(2) issue a declaratory judgment declaring the rights and responsibilities of the parties to this action under the federal Equal Access Act, and particularly declaring that Defendants have created a limited open forum within the meaning of the federal Equal Access Act at the public secondary schools within the District, and that Defendants unlawfully have denied equal access to that forum and discriminated against the Plaintiffs and members of all other lawful noncurricular student groups that are being precluded from meeting on the premises of public secondary schools within the District by Defendants’ policy and practice; and

(3) award the Plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs;

AS TO THE PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF, pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988,

(1) grant the Plaintiffs preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from: interfering in any way with the Plaintiffs’ right to use the limited public forum Defendants have created on the same terms as Defendants have allowed student groups such as Future Business Leaders of America, Future Homemakers of America, and the Key Club to use it; discriminating against the Plaintiffs on the basis of the content of the speech and viewpoints expressed by the Alliance or its members, and limiting the Plaintiffs’ freedom of expression or association other than through the application of established, clear, content-neutral, unbiased, non-arbitrary criteria that are consistently applied to all student groups using or seeking to use the limited public forum Defendants have created; and

(2) award the Plaintiffs compensatory damages against Defendants and each of them, in at least a nominal amount, for the violation of the Plaintiffs’ rights and the injuries Defendants have caused; and issue a declaratory judgment declaring the rights and responsibilities of the parties to this action under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and particularly declaring that a limited public forum exists at the public secondary schools within the District and that Defendants unlawfully have denied equal access to that forum and discriminated against the Plaintiffs and members of all other lawful noncurricular student groups that are being precluded from meeting on the premises of public secondary schools within the District by Defendants’ policy and practice; award the Plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and

AS TO THE PLAINTIFFS’ ENTIRE COMPLAINT, grant such further and different relief as this Court deems just and appropriate.

DATED this 19th day of March, 1998.