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|Alpharetta teen makes first court appearance in LGBT-prom lawsuit|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|March 29, 2012 13:49|
Reuben Lack, the Alpharetta High School student suing his school over his forced removal from his student council position after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution, went before a federal judge today in the first hearing seeking to have him reinstated as council president.
Lack gave testimony before United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Richard Story and was cross examined by the defense team for Fulton County Public Schools, Lack's attorney, James Radford, said today by phone. The defense also submitted some five affidavits from students and faculty of Alpharetta High School but did not call any witnesses.
“The judge is taking the case very seriously," Radford said. "He clearly understands the First Amendment implications of the case.”
Radford said today's hearing was the first step in Lack retaining his Student Body President position.
“We're asking the judge to stop the damage from continuing, to reinstate him, at least temporarily, while the parties attempt to solve the case,” Radford said.
“We filed a motion for a temporary restraining order. It would be a temporary relief of what we're seeking in order to prevent irreparable harm . Since he's [Lack] only got a month and half in school, even if we won the case, there's no way to undo the damage. There's no way you can go back and do the last month of his senior year.”
“Regardless of the outcome of the hearing today, the next step will be a hearing on our motion for an injunction,” Radford continued. “It's possible that could happen before the school year ends. There's such a short time frame in which there can be any meaningful release. This is only the very beginning of the case still.”
Radford added that he's encouraging Lack to tell his side of the story through the legal process.
“At this point, the legal proceedings are what we're focusing on. He would be happy with me telling you that it was a positive experience for him.”
As for AHS students who are calling Lack's story into question, Radford said that despite vocal critics, many students are still not sure how to take the lawsuit.
“I think there is a small group of students who are against Reuben, for whatever reason. I don't want to read into why. And then there's another group of students are strongly for him. The majority of the students are not sure what to think,” Radford said.
Radford said he's not sure when the next hearing will take place.
Top photo: Reuben Lack (center), the Alpharetta teen suing his high school over his removal from his position as Student Body President after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution, his father (left) and attorney James Radford (by Ryan Watkins)
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