GAINESVILLE — A federal judge heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit that claims a northeast Georgia school district discriminated against a student gay rights club.

U.S. District Court Judge William O’Kelley took the case under advisement and indicated that he would issue a ruling before school starts in August.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of White County High School graduate Kerry Pacer, president of P.R.I.D.E. — or Peers Rising In Diversity Education.

The suit claims White County school officials violated the Federal Equal Access Act during the 2005-2006 school year by barring P.R.I.D.E. from meeting on campus, while allowing other non-curricular clubs to do so.

Principal Brian Dorsey testified he decided no non-curricular clubs would meet on campus.

But ACLU attorneys presented morning bulletins as evidence that other clubs did meet and morning announcements about the meetings were made on the high school’s public address system.

Pacer testified that she heard announcements about other non-curricular clubs on the school P.A. system during her senior year.

Controversy began in February 2005 when Pacer and her friends tried to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club for gay classmates and supportive students. The school board agreed to allow the students to start the club, but later school administrators recommended eliminating all non-curricular clubs at the school.

The club, which changed its name to Peers Rising in Diversity Education, continued to meet off school grounds.

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