A petition to add a prominent ACLU lawyer to the team representing Webb City High School junior LaStaysha Myers in her First Amendment lawsuit against school officials was filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Rose Saxe, a New York lawyer and a member of the ACLU's Gay and Lesbian Project, has been involved in two prominent cases during this calendar year. In one of the cases, Ms. Saxe is representing six lesbians who are suing the state of Wisconsin seeking domestic partner health insurance and family leave protections.
She entered the second case, which is before the 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo, as a friend of the court, filing a brief in favor of a Colorado phlebotomist who was fired from his job after telling his employer he was HIV-positive.
The petition to add Ms. Saxe to the team was filed by Joplin attorney William Fleischaker, the primary attorney of record in the case. Kenneth Choe, another prominent member of the ACLU's Gay and Lesbian Project, is also on Ms. Myers' team.
Ms. Myers brought suit against Superintendent Ron Lankford, High School Principal Steven Gollhofer, and Assistant Principal Jeff Thornberry, after she was not allowed to wear gay pride t-shirts in support of her fellow student Brad Mathewson. Ms. Myers is not gay, but wanted to show support for her friend.
She and a dozen other students were sent home after they refused to change their shirts.
School officials have said Ms. Myers will be able to wear this kind of shirt during the 2005-2006 school year, but have left open the option to change their minds if any problems arise.