April 2, 2006 in City

Bill would require parent’s signature to join clubs

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

BOISE – A Coeur d’Alene legislator is sponsoring a bill to require students get a parent’s signature to join school clubs or organizations, just months after residents and parents in the area protested the Gay Straight Alliance at Lake City High School.

“This bill allows parents to be more involved in their child’s school activities,” said Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, and the bill’s sponsor. “If we get them more involved, we’ll get better students.”

The bill comes just months after community members protested and threatened to vote against the district’s proposed levy if they didn’t disband the Gay Straight Alliance. The levy failed last month.

Many said that allowing the group is a statement by the school and district that homosexuality is moral and encouraged, but school officials said they couldn’t stop the club from meeting because they don’t disrupt the educational process.

Since then, a similar club has formed at Sandpoint High School.

Last week the House Education Committee passed Nonini’s bill, which would require a parent’s signature to join any club, reported the Coeur d’Alene Press.

The measure is also being supported by North Idaho Pachyderm Club president Duane Rasmussen, who helped Nonini with the proposal after presiding over a heated meeting in January over the Lake City High School club.

A law requiring parent’s signature for participation in activities may put some students at risk, said the state’s only openly gay legislator, Rep. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise.

She said students seek the club because they have been targeted with violence and harassment at school and sometimes at home because of their sexual orientation.

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