ACLU files suit against Lake Co. School Board over gay-straight alliance battle

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Bayli Silberstein
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that it has brought a lawsuit against the Lake County School Board on behalf of 14-year-old Bayli Silberstein.

Silberstein is behind a push to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School.

"I’m really frustrated that we’ve reached this point, but we can’t wait any longer," stated Silberstein. "The bullying at my school is really bad, and I don’t want to have another school year go by without kids feeling like there’s a safe place where they can be themselves. But the school board keeps trying to stop us."

Board members had moved toward approving the organization, but then at an April 23 meeting decided to postpone the final vote.

"The school board voted last week to table a proposed middle school club policy, throwing up a final administrative barrier for the club and effectively continuing its ban on the GSA," the ACLU said in a press release Wednesday.

Silberstein said she believed they were hoping to delay the vote until after she had moved into high school.

"As a parent, the only thing worse than knowing that your child is facing bullying at their school is knowing that school administrators aren’t helping to stop it," stated Erica Silberstein, Bayli’s mother. "I’m proud of what my daughter is trying to do to make her school a safer place. Why won’t the school board let her do it?"

The federal lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida in Orlando.

WFTV.com will update this story as more information becomes available. We will have complete coverage in Eyewitness News beginning at 5 p.m.

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