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ACLU complaint alleges Princeton ISD discriminated against LGBTQ+ group

LGBTQ Pride flag on a street
The ACLU and Princeton TX Diverse are urging the Princeton school district to reverse its decision to ban the LGBTQ+ group from school facilities.

The ACLU of Texas has filed a complaint with Princeton ISD alleging the district discriminated against an organization that supports LGBTQ+ students.

The administrative complaint claims that the school district northeast of Plano likely violated the U.S. and Texas constitutions by refusing Princeton TX Diverse (PTX Diverse) access to campus facilities.

In April, the district banned the group from renting space or being a vendor on district property after the group donated gift baskets containing “banned books” to a local charity event at Princeton High School. The district has not banned any books, the ACLU said in its complaint, but still claimed PTX Diverse violated board policies.

In the complaint, the group said they labeled the banned books to “reflect the fact that many government entities across the world try to ban or censor some of these books.”

In a news release, ACLU Texas attorney Brian Klosterboaer called Princeton ISD’s actions “an arbitrary abuse of government power.”

Princeton ISD also penalized PTX Diverse after the group held a Pride event in June 2023 on district property. The group allegedly did not follow a policy where it must state that the school district did not sponsor the event, though PTX Diverse said it included a disclaimer at the bottom of a promotional poster.

The group believe the district’s response is retaliation for a satirical Facebook post thanking the PISD school president for attending the event.

PTX Diverse is urging the school district to reverse its decision, apologize and provide training to all district members on the First Amendment and on LGBTQIA+ cultural sensitivity.

"Through this complaint, we’re asking that they treat us the same as other groups and reverse these wrongful decisions," the group's founder John Kusterbeck said in a statement.

KERA reached out to both Princeton ISD and PTX Diverse for comments and has not heard back.

Zara was born in Croydon, England, and moved to Texas at eight years old. She grew up running track and field until her last year at the University of North Texas. She previously interned for D Magazine and has a strong passion for music history and art culture.