Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Michigan Gets a First Amendment Case

The Corunna board of education in Michigan has just stepped into a major First Amendment problem with a rash decision to remove a poster put up by the Diversity Club. The poster in question was nothing more than pictures of nine prominent gay people from sports, politics and entertainment.

The Corunna Board of Education voted Monday to remove a club project in a display case at Corunna High School that highlighted the acceptance of homosexuality and alternative lifestyles.

The Diversity Club’s display featured about nine photos of athletes, politicians and educators who live a homosexual lifestyle, Corunna Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said.

Ack, no. Not nine people who “live in a homosexual lifestyle” — there is no such thing — but just nine homosexual people. Homosexuals have no more common a lifestyle than straight people.

With numerous parents complaining about it, the Board felt it best to have the project removed from the case – as there are just 10 days left in October…

“We only had a problem with this specific display,” said Maureen Stanley, president of the Corunna Board of Education. “The club will continue … it has nothing to do with the club. The specific display, however, has been amended.”…

The group’s October’s theme, profiling gay and lesbians, would be better dealt in other scenarios such as in human sexuality or diversity classes, according to members of the board, Stanley said.

“The display case may confuse other kids,” she said. “High school kids can be very impressionable so that might be better dealt with in those classes.”

Stanley said because the display case limits the amount of information given to students, a more informational setting is necessary to discuss the alternative lifestyles.

“We aren’t going to review everything that this club does,” Stanley said.

“We did not feel that was something that needed to be highlighted in the school, that’s basically it,” Trustee Lyle Brooks said.

I’ve got some advice for the school board: Give up. Now. And apologize. And put the poster back up. Because if you try and fight this out in court you’re going to lose and you’re going to lose badly. And then you’re going to pay the legal fees of the other side.

Update: The school backed down almost immediately and is reversing their decision. Smart move.