Echoing the 1998 East High lawsuit, students at Davis County’s Viewmont High School recently found themselves at odds with administrators over a stalled application for a gay-straight alliance (GSA). The school’s existing policy recognized only curricular clubs, with no leeway for extracurricular groups. Without official recognition, student organizers couldn’t put up posters in the hallways, advertise events on the morning announcements, or participate in the school’s rush week to find new members.

Undeterred, the Viewmont students sought advice from the ACLU of Utah and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), who started a dialogue with the school administration about equal access and First Amendment issues. The intervention worked. Starting this fall, the Viewmont GSA is an officially-recognized school club. In addition, the policy shift at Viewmont helped to set precedent for the nearby and brand-new Farmington High School to start recognizing both curricular and extracurricular clubs. Finally, as if to vindicate the persistence of the Viewmont students, 73 new members signed up to join the GSA during rush week.

This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2018 Fall Newsletter >>