Federal

Federal File

June 06, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schools and Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America has been taking flak in some school districts around the country, but it doesn’t lack for friends on Capitol Hill.

During House debate last month over the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization, Rep. Van Hilleary, R-Tenn., succeeded in adding language that calls for cutting off federal funding to any school district or state that “discriminates” against the Scouts.

Specifically, it says the Boy Scouts or any other group that excludes homosexuals from membership could not be denied access to schools for after-school meetings if other outside groups were allowed to use those facilities. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., has a similar amendment ready to offer in the Senate.

“School districts across America are now being pressured to kick the Boy Scouts of America out of federally funded public school facilities,” Sen. Helms said last month. “It is because the Boy Scouts will not agree to surrender their First Amendment rights, and they will not accept the agenda of the radical left in this country.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the BSA could maintain its anti-gay policy, many districts have rethought their links to the organization. Some have terminated special privileges, such as campus recruiting for Scouts.

The Broward County, Fla., district sought to bar the Boy Scouts from its facilities altogether. But in March, a federal judge told the school system it could not do that. The judge did allow the district to terminate an agreement giving the group special privileges.

Meanwhile, 29 advocacy groups have banded together in issuing a letter opposing the amendment.

“The Hilleary amendment is an unnecessary, unwarranted intrusion into a local school district’s ability to set standards for the use of their own facilities, and bestows upon the Boy Scouts and other youth groups unique rights that are not available to student- led groups,” they wrote.

—Eric W. Robelen

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leading Systemic Redesign: Strategies from the Field
Learn how your school community can work together to redesign the school system, reengineer instruction, & co-author personalized learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.
vasabii/iStock/Getty
Federal Opinion NAEP Needs to Be Kept at Arm’s Length From Politics
It’s in all our interests to ensure NAEP releases are buffered from political considerations and walled off from political appointees.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Feds Emphasize Legal Protections for Pregnant or Recently Pregnant Students, Employees
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new resource summary related to pregnancy discrimination in schools.
2 min read
Young girl checking her pregnancy test, sitting on beige couch at home.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Federal Conservatives Hammer on Hot-Button K-12 Education Issues at Federalist Society Event
The influential legal group discussed critical race theory, gender identity, and Title IX.
6 min read
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix on Oct. 15, 2020.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was among a phalanx of conservatives addressing K-12 issues at a conference of the Federalist Society.
Matt York/AP