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Lawsuit not over for ousted Ga. student council prez who wanted gay-inclusive prom

Reuben Lack, his father and attorney

A federal judged ruled Monday against an Alpharetta High School student's claim that he was sacked from his student council position after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution. While the decision means Reuben Lack won’t get his leadership role back, his father stressed that the lawsuit against the Fulton County School District isn’t over.

Reuben Lack, 18, claimed in a federal lawsuit filed in March that he was removed from his position as the school's student body president after introducing a resolution during a February student council meeting that would have made the school's annual prom more inclusive to LGBT students by removing the prom “king” and “queen” titles and replacing them with more gender-neutral titles.

The school district, however, responded by saying Lack's removal had nothing to do with the prom resolution, and claimed that he was removed for canceling and rescheduling student council meetings with little or no notice, acting uncivilly and refusing to comply with direct instructions from the student council faculty advisers.

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Alpharetta teen denied injunction, LGBT prom lawsuit moves forward

Reuben Lack, his father and attorney

Reuben Lack, the Alpharetta High School student who sued the school after being removed from his position as the school's Student Body President after introducing an LGBT-friendly prom resolution, will not regain his position before the end of the current school year, a federal judge ruled today.

The ruling likely means that Lack will end the school year before finalizing his suit. Lack, a senior, graduates in May.

Lack went before U.S. Judge Richard Story of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Thursday, March 29 to plead his case. Just one day later, Judge Story issued his ruling denying Lack the injunction to regain his position during the ongoing legal battle.

Story ruled that while Lack's free speech rights may have been violated, the school presented sufficient evidence to prove that it would have removed Lack regardless of the LGBT prom resolution.

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Alpharetta teen makes first court appearance in LGBT-prom lawsuit

Reuben Lack, his father and attorney

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.”

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Alpharetta teen makes national news over LGBT prom lawsuit

Alpharetta High School student Reuben Lack

An Alpharetta High School student alleges in a recently filed lawsuit that he was forcefully removed from his student council position after advocating a change in the school’s “Prom King and Queen” tradition to be more inclusive of LGBT couples.

Reuben Lack, 18, says that two Alpharetta High School faculty advisors told him that he was being removed as the school’s student body president for “pushing personal projects.” In the complaint, filed March 20 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, Lack contends he was removed over his “exercise of rights protected by the First Amendment.”

Fulton County Public Schools, which includes Alpharetta High, disputes the claim, arguing that the gay-inclusive prom policy is not why Lack was removed from office.

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Fulton County Public Schools responds to Alpharetta student’s lawsuit

Alpharetta High School

Reuben Lack made national headlines last week when news broke that he was suing his school, Alpharetta High School, over his forced removal as the school's student body president. Lack alleged the change came after he introduced a resolution designed to make the school's prom more gay-inclusive.

Samantha Evans, executive director of communications for Fulton County Public Schools, disputed Lack’s claims in an interview today.

“The bottom line is that this allegation that the student is making is not true. This is not a district that would support any type of prejudice or bias,” Evans said today by phone.