Mom sues over ejection from school


June 2002

(—A St. Louis, Mo. mom is suing the public high school that blocked her from observing a school-sponsored assembly conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

Debra Loveless had told school officials she considered the event inappropriate, but was trying to view it herself on Oct. 24, 2001 when she was escorted out of the assembly, according to Loveless’ attorneys, who have filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Loveless’ daughter attends Metro High School.

The group conducted two assemblies at Metro High School, Oct. 17 and Oct. 24 of last year, both of which Loveless’ daughter was exempted from attending because of the family’s religious beliefs, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the public interest law firm representing Loveless. However, when, at the urging of a school board member, Loveless attempted to attend the Oct. 24 event, she was ejected by an armed security guard, the ACLJ stated.

Francis J. Manion, senior counsel for the ACLJ, said parents should be able to participate in activities at a public school to see if it is appropriate for their children.