lifeblood: listlogs: 1998v01n078-news

ig-news-digest         saturday, may 16 1998         volume 01 : number 078

                               today's subjects:
  [ig-news] sonicnet article                [sherlyn koo <>]


date: sat, 16 may 1998 12:28:11 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] sonicnet article

hey folks,

one more article from sonicnet (

- -sherlyn

- ---
[ thu., may 14, 8:17 pm pdt ]

school district rules against indigo girls supporters

students lose final appeal in day five of their eight-day suspensions.

contributing editor randy reiss reports:

five students given eight-day suspensions for protesting the
controversial cancellation of an indigo girls concert at a high school
in irmo, s.c., lost their final appeal thursday (may 14) to overturn
their suspensions so they could return to class immediately.

the decision by the irmo district hearing officer to reject the
appeals of the students comes on the fifth day of their suspensions
and a day after the irmo high school teen-agers were denied a
preliminary injunction in south carolina federal district court that
also would have ended the probation.

reached at her home just after the announcement was made, 16-year-old
suspended student megan collier expressed disappointment in the
decision but said she saw it coming. "i kind-of expected that," she
said. "this is the sixth day of the suspension, and if they had
reversed it i really would have been surprised."

judge michael patrick duffy denied the injunction on wednesday, ruling
that it was more an issue of discipline than an issue of the
principal's alleged infringement on the students' rights to free
speech and assembly.

collier was one of approximately 50 students who walked out of class
at irmo high school last thursday to protest principal gerald witt's
cancellation of an in-school indigo girls concert scheduled for may 7
due to community pressure over the duo's homosexuality, their lyrics
and the appropriateness of their appearing at a school assembly.
collier was one of 12 students who did not return to class after the
principal ordered the students back into the building.

the students, who were represented by the american civil liberties
union in the court injunction, argued that they were asked if they
would like to return to class, while administrators have maintained
that they told the students to return.

following the protest, the 12 students were led to a conference room
where they were informed that they would be suspended for disobeying
the instructions of an administrator.

as it turned out, according to district five school board spokesperson
buddy price, eight students were given eight-day suspensions for
disobeying the direct order of the principal, two were given
suspensions of two to three days for their involvement and the cases
of two other students are still being examined.

only five of the eight who were given eight-day suspensions took the
process to the point of appeal, price said, with the other three
electing to serve their suspensions.

collier's parents also joined student chester hicks and the parents of
carla gray, katlin spangler and elizabeth carney in filing a petition
for a preliminary injunction on monday against principal witt and
dennis mcmahon, superintendent of school district five in lexington
and richland counties. the injunction, filed on behalf of the students
and parents by carl a. "andy" brumme iii, aclu staff counsel in
columbia, s.c., sought to keep mcmahon and witt from suspending the
students for disobeying the orders of an administrator, claiming that
they were only asked to return to class and not ordered to do so.

"[e]ven if there had been [an order]," the motion read, "the order was
to stop protesting, to not exercise a fundamental right."

the irmo cancellation was the first of three indigo girls in-school
shows that were called off in recent weeks. the other two shows,
scheduled in germantown, tenn., and knoxville, tenn., were called off
after principal witt officially canceled the irmo show; however,
principals at those schools said they were calling off the gig because
of foul language that the lesbian duo -- singer/songwriters amy ray and
emily saliers -- uses in their song "shame on you" (realaudio excerpt).

student protesters, including three more who were suspended from
farragut high school in knoxville, have argued that the cancellations
were a clear case of discrimination because of the indigo girls'

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= sherlyn koo - =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
   "it's never too late to live right now,
    so you can be who you want to be..."        - carrie newcomer

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end of ig-news-digest v1 #78

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