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UPDATED: ACLU To Honor Clovis H.S. Grads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two Clovis High School graduates are being awarded the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico’s 2011 Guardian of Liberty Award for their efforts in organizing the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, the Clovis News Journal reported.

James Walker and Steven De Los Santos “had attempted several times in the past to establish the club … but were continually rebuffed by the administration,” the ACLU-NM said in a news release.

The club was finally approved by Clovis Municipal Schools on May 4, the News Journal said.

Walker is a freshman at the University of New Mexico, and De Los Santos is studying at New Mexico State University, according to the paper.

The two will be honored at the ACLU’s 49th annual Bill of Rights Celebration on Oct. 22 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, ACLU-NM said in its release.

“Because of their courageous and determined stand, Walker and De Los Santos leave as their legacy a safe, supportive place for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students at Clovis High,” the ACLU release said.

Also being honored at next month’s celebration will be attorney Mark D. Fine of the Fine Law Firm in Albuquerque for his work defending the rights of female inmates at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants, the release said.

Fine represents three women who allege that a male employee at the Grants prison sexually assaulted them while they were inmates, according to the release.

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2:49pm 5/5/11 — Clovis Schools Approve Gay-Straight Alliance

Clovis Municipal Schools has approved an application for a gay-straight alliance club.

The Clovis News Journal reports a high school senior first applied for permission to form the club in late February.

The application was delayed by the district. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico stepped in and issued a letter demanding the club be allowed to form.

A law firm representing the school district has issued a letter granting permission for the club to begin holding meetings after school.

An ACLU official says the organization will continue to keep a close eye to ensure the newly approved club is afforded the same treatment and access that any other non-curricular club enjoys.

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May 4, 2011 — ACLU Wants Clovis Schools To Approve Gay-Straight Club

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is asking Clovis Municipal Schools to approve a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Clovis High School before the school year ends May 24.

The Clovis News Journal reports the ACLU says in a letter to Superintendent Terry Myers that students have been waiting about two months for approval of the alliance.

The letter, dated Monday, said unreasonable delay in approving the club would single it out as not being treated equally.

The school board voted April 26 to allow only clubs with ties to school curriculum to meet during the school day. Other clubs can meet at school before or after classes.

Myers said he will be able to act on clubs once the district finishes reviewing its policy on use of facilities.

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