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School Criticized for Restricting Gay Students at Dance

School Criticized for Restricting Gay Students at Dance

Posted - Dec. 2, 2004 at 2:53 p.m.



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WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) -- Gay rights advocates are criticizing a West Jordan high school principal for barring same-sex couples from a school dance unless they have signed parental consent.

Copper Hills Principal Tom Worlton says he knows harassment is a problem at the school, and he thinks parents of gay students should be aware.

But some students say that's discrimination.

Seventeen-year-old senior Jason Atwood couldn't go, because his father wouldn't sign the permission slip -- fearing it would absolve the school of responsibility if anything happened to his son.

One of Atwood's friends, who is not openly gay at home, didn't even try to attend.

The head of the Utah American Civil Liberties Union says it's the school's job to keep students safe from harassment.

The principal says he's not discriminating, and won't change the policy unless someone convinces him it's unfair.

Students involved with the Gay-Straight Alliance have been protesting the policy this week.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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