A Right Royal Mess

Alpharetta High School senior sues Principal, teachers and Fulton County School Board for firing him from student council.


When the story first broke about Alpharetta High School student, Reuben Lack suing the principal, two teachers and the Fulton County School District for kicking him off the student council, I, like a lot of people, was dismayed that this could happen to a kid for simply trying to get a proposal before the council. As the story slowly emerged though it seems that, as in all things, there are indeed two sides to be told.

Lack claims that he was booted off the council for attempting to make the high school prom more 'inclusive' to gay and lesbian students. And while I disagreed with his proposal on the grounds that it is already inclusive, I supported his right to discuss the matter in the proper forum.

Other details are now emerging and I seriously question the motive behind all of this. It's hard to blame a kid for how far this has gone. I place much of the blame on the adults around him for escalating this into the media circus that is now surrounding the case. And if you have any doubts as to how ridiculous this whole thing has become just look at the Huffington Post which lists this story as one of the "Worst Anti LGBT Moments Of the Week" sandwiching it between "Dutch Roman Catholic Church Castrated Boys as Treatment for Homosexuality" and "Gay Cruise Passengers Subjected to Inhumane Treatment".

The Fulton County School District counters that Lack was let go for entirely different reasons. The attorney for the district states that Lack was relieved of his duties because "he behaved in a manner not becoming of student body president including but not limited to rescheduling meetings with little notice, directly going against the instructions of the faculty advisors". The attorney went on to say that Lack was "essentially a poor leader".

Not much mention has been made of the fact that Lack was not the only student fired from student council for failing to fulfill council duties. This other student however did not file a lawsuit, accepted responsibility and moved on.

If this turns out to be an attempt to use the smoke screen of being "gay-friendly" to cover up the fact that Lack was  not an effective and committed student council president,  then shame on those that lead him down this path.

In a case like this I would expect the students to rally around Lack against the administration, that's what teens do, they stick up for each other. But that does not seem to be the case. In fact two other students have now retained lawyers to protect their own reputations in the growing scandal. In a press conference, these two students sided with the school district in their assessment of Lack. And while a few Alpharetta High students have voiced support for Lack it appears that many more students have taken to social media to show their support of the administration .

Unfortunately Lack's father may prove to be his son's worst enemy as he has turned to the internet to argue his version of events with adults and students alike - the whole thing is a mess.

Lack and his attorney have filed to sue the Principal, two teachers and the Fulton County School Board in their "official and Individual capacities." The lawsuit filed asks not only for reinstatement but for "damages" and "punitive damages" . Really? They are asking for money? Things that make you go hmmmmm.

In my mind there is something not quite right about this whole story. It's been blown wildly out of proportion and now we the tax payers are probably going to be on the hook. What a complete waste of time and money. A fine school and it's teachers are being dragged through the muck, reputations sullied . My guess is that Lack, even if he prevails, will spend his last weeks in high school defending his actions, ostracized by many of his peers instead of enjoying the rest of his senior year.  Alpharetta and the State of Georgia are being made to look like country bumpkins and bigots on the national stage and that is simply not true. This should never have got to this point. Nobody wins here.............

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kathryn Rookes March 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Not to mention the impact that this mess will have on his career prospects. I doubt many employers are looking for inexperienced young men who make this big of a mountain out of a molehill. And file suit when he doesn't get his way. Unfortunate story all around.


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