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Indiana school says students can’t form gay-straight alliance — now they’re fighting the ACLU

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is stepping in to help a trio of Indiana high school students establish a gay-straight alliance (GSA) group at their school.

According to the Greencastle, Indiana Banner-Graphic, the administration at North Putnam High School in Roachdale has denied the students the right to form the group, even though the club would be meeting outside of instructional hours and not interrupting school activities.

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The ACLU filed a suit on Tuesday on behalf of the students declaring that the school and school district are in violation of federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

“GSAs are student-run extracurricular clubs that bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied students to support each other and promote respect and equality,” said a statement from the rights group.

“GBT students at the school have frequently been harassed and wanted to form the GSA to provide a place to educate the community and support vulnerable students,” the statement continued.

The school district stalled the group for a year, saying it needed to make a decision whether to allow the group to form and meet on school property. Finally, on Nov. 20, the North Putnam School Board voted to withhold authorization from the group. No other extracurricular group at North Putnam High School is required to pass a vote by the board to receive permission to organize and meet.

ACLU Indiana’s legal director Ken Falk said that for the district to deny the students permission to form the group is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution and of the federal Equal Access Act.

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“The law is clear in this matter,” said Falk. “There is no excuse for the school district’s intransigence, which is causing real harm to its students.”

The ACLU has had success in a similar case in Munster, Indiana earlier this year.

The group filed suit on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division.

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Doctor fighting fraud charge cites Donald Trump in his defense of doling out COVID-19 drug

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As President Donald Trump promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine, one California doctor took his recommendations to the bank.

According to the San Diego Tribune, Dr. Jennings Staley is being charged in what appears to be the first case involving the drug. The FBI is charing Staley with mail fraud as part of an effort hailing hydroxychloroquine as a "miracle cure" and the "magic bullet" to an undercover agent posing as a patient, court documents say.

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The few police willing to join in solidarity with protesters

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Reports of the protests across the country are focusing on the violence, clashes and property damage caused by a small few rather than the peaceful protest of those rallying against injustice and the police standing in solidarity with them.

A few captured positive moments of cities where officers support the protests and believe Black lives do actually matter.

There were moments of protesters fist-bumping police, hugs with police, and in one incident in New York City over the weekend, one officer was separated from his unit. Protesters surrounded him with locked arms to protect him from those being violent. In Miami, Florida and Seattle, Washington, police joined protesters in kneeling.

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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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