Judge hears arguments in case of Lake County school's gay-straight alliance club

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

The fight over a gay-straight student club in Lake County went before a federal judge on Monday after students claimed the school refused to allow the club to meet.

In 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Lake County School District after it denied an 8th grader the right to form a gay-straight alliance club.

After the lawsuit was filed, school officials temporarily allowed the club to meet while they reviewed district club policies. But in late 2013, leaders told members of the gay-straight alliance they could no longer meet. Former Carver Middle School student Bayli Silberstein initiated the fight for the club, which was intended to promote acceptance and diversity.

"I don't understand how they can sit through all of those heartbreaking stories of bullying and harassment and still not do anything about it. I don't get that," Silberstein said.

Dozens of Lake County students and parents have showed their support for the club. On Monday, a judge in Ocala listened to arguments from the ACLU and lawyers for the Lake County School Distrcit. A ruling from the federal judge is expected within the next few weeks.