ACLU supporting student Bayli Silberstein’s effort, will fly plane with banner reading “Stand With Bayli, Not the Bullies” during school board meeting

CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363 - 2737

On Monday, March 11th, the Lake County School Board is expected to vote on a proposed policy that would ban all non-academic extracurricular clubs at Lake County schools, thus barring the creation of a gay-straight alliance (GSA) student club that Leesburg, Florida 8th grader Bayli Silberstein has spent over a year trying to establish.

As the Lake County School Board meets to decide whether to continue the proposed ban on extracurricular clubs or allow student Silberstein to form the Gay-Straight Alliance, the ACLU and thousands of supporters in Leesburg and around the country are urging the board to allow the GSA.

Silberstein, the 14-year-old student whose effort to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at Carver Middle School would be thwarted by the school’s proposed ban, will attend the meeting to deliver the names of approximately 50,000 people who have signed an ACLU petition supporting her effort to establish a GSA.

The ACLU will also fly a plane with a banner with a message reminding them of this support and urging them to "Stand With Bayli, Not The Bullies." The plane will fly the banner around the Lake County Administration Building on Monday from 4:30 - 7pm.

“I’m excited by all the support I’ve gotten,” said Bayli. “We need to do something about the bullying at Carver. I really hope the school board will listen to all these people saying that banning student groups is not fair, and that we should be allowed to form a Gay-Straight Alliance.”

Supporters of Bayli and the GSA turned out in such large numbers at a previous school board meeting at which the policy was first discussed that the meeting had to be relocated to a different venue. The ACLU of Florida has worked with Bayli and her family in urging members of the Lake County School Board to allow the Gay-Straight Alliance, a right that has been upheld by at least a dozen federal courts since 1998.

Lake County School Board Meeting and Vote on Gay-Straight Alliance/Club Ban
Monday March 11th, 2013 (Banner airborne at 4:30pm; Meeting begins 6:00pm)
Lake County Administration Building
315 W. Main St.,
Tavares, FL

Bayli Silberstein as well as ACLU of Florida Mid-Florida Regional Director Joyce Hamilton Henry will be present before the meeting and are available to speak with press.

To view the petition, please visit

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