Franklin County school's Gay-Straight Alliance divides community

Supporters on both sides of the issue plan to attend a school board meeting Monday night. (WSMV)

A new club at Franklin County High School has some parents so upset, they are threatening to take their children out of school.

The Gay-Straight Alliance club has divided the community.

John Wimley has one daughter who just graduated and another who will soon be a freshman. He said he is so upset, he is considering homeschooling.

“If we allow this club to just pop up, what’s next?” Wimley said. “Somebody who might want to join ISIS. They might want to. You can’t tell them no.

Wimley started a Stand Against GSA page on Facebook.

“My only problem is it does not deserve to be on school property,” he said.

Supporters of the school club have also started a Facebook page. Some parents said the students' rights are being threatened.

“I’m a retired naval officer and I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” said Dave Spauling, a parent. “I’m here to defend their First Amendment rights to the students to free speech and free assembly, because it’s being threatened.”

Amie Lonas, the director of Franklin County Schools, said the club isn’t going anywhere.

“It’s not necessarily talking about sexuality. It’s more about being accepting of others and the differences that we all have,” Lonas said.

Lonas said it’s not a matter of opinion.

“If we’re going to take federal funding and accept that, we have to accept the laws and rules of the land, and that’s what we’re doing,” she said.

She said one option would be to get rid of every club on campus.

“There’s a lot of students participating in our clubs and I would hate to see those go away,” Lonas said.

The school board will meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. People on both sides of the issue plan to be there in numbers, even though the issue is not on the agenda. The board will not be voting on anything relevant to the Gay-Straight Alliance.

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