No Need to Rethink Day for Gay San Jose Students

     (CN) – A California school district does not have to consider changing “Rainbow Day,” which promotes stopping the bullying of gay students, to an all-inclusive anti-bullying day.
     The Gay-Straight Alliance, a club at Castillero Middle School in San Jose, promoted Rainbow Day on March 18, 2011. It was meant “to promote anti-bullying awareness for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students.”
     Norina Mooney, whose child attends the school, asked the San Jose Unified School District to consider changing Rainbow Day to a day to oppose all bullying.
     The board refused, arguing that it “does not direct specific activities at individual schools.”
     Mooney asked the Santa Clara County Superior Court for a writ of mandamus to compel school board president Richard Garcia and superintendent Vincent Matthews to place her proposal on the agenda.
     After the trial court refused, Mooney took her case to the Sixth Appellate District and claimed that the school board had a ministerial duty to consider her idea.
     The school board countered that state law afforded it the discretion to decide whether the item was “directly related to school business.”
     The appeals court sided with the school board.
     “The activity in question had been initiated and run by a student club, not district personnel and had occurred in a single school on a single day,” Justice Nathan Mihara wrote for the court. “[The school district’s] determination that Mooney’s proposed agenda item concerning this activity did not ‘directly relate to school district business’ was neither arbitrary nor capricious.”

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