An Idaho school promoted a gay club for middle and high school students that was intended to be hidden from parents.
The principal was caught talking about keeping the group secret in an audio recording, according to a release from Liberty Counsel.
The Forrest M. Bird Charter School also recruited students for the club and concealed their activism from the student’s parents.
The nonprofit legal organization, Liberty Counsel, says that’s against the law. The Christian legal group protects religious freedom and stands up for Christian conservative values.
Liberty is vowing to “take further action to prevent irreparable harm to the rights of our clients, as well as the parents of other children whom the school is recruiting in the absence of their parents’ knowledge and permission.”
Principal Mary Jensen, who runs the middle and high school operations, admitted that the club was secret, according to Liberty Counsel.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the group, says he has never seen a case like this.
“It is shocking that the principal would collude against parents’ interests,” Staver tells CBN News.
“This is the first where we have seen a principal take a lead to start a gay club and hide it from the parents, and start activism,” he says.
“The law in terms of the club itself, Equal Access, requires that all clubs are treated equally,” Staver adds.
Staver says Liberty Counsel has begun targeting this case by reaching out to the school’s attorney, sending a letter demanding the club be halted.
The organization also revealed that school employees “facilitated kids meeting off-campus at a local library under the supervision of ‘supportive’ third parties.”
Principal Jensen was caught talking about the case in an audio recording.
She said the school wanted to be progressive, but didn’t want the club to be too “in-your-face” so that parents could not prevent their kids from joining.
She also said, ‘We’re trying to keep it on the down low,’ because ‘this is North Idaho’ and ‘kids who wanted to participate in the club did not necessarily want their parents to know,’ Liberty Counsel reveals.
Liberty Counsel writes that the Equal Access Act regulates student clubs in schools.
They say clubs are only “curricular” “if the subject matter of the group is actually taught, or will soon be taught, in a regularly offered course.”
“Schools may not play games with what is ‘curricular/non-curricular. …Whatever arguments the school may raise about ‘combating bullying’ and ‘support,’ these are insufficient to bring the GSA into ‘curricular’ status,” Liberty Counsel writes.
Jensen confirmed that the gay secret club was created by staff and other people over a span of months and that students were hand-picked and recruited for the club.
The case came to light after parents of a child with “high-functioning autism” and gender dysphoria found out that Jensen and other teachers recruited their child for the gay club without their permission.