The metro Atlanta high student ousted from his student council post over a proposal to make the prom more gay friendly was slapped down Friday by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story, who at times seemed sympathetic to Reuben Lack’s plea during a hearing on Thursday to be reinstated as Student Body President, declined on Friday to reinstate Lack to his Alpharetta High School post. The decision came in a 12-page ruling from Story.
While the Plaintiff engaged in protected speech which was a motivating factor in the Plaintiff’s removal, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits because the Defendants have presented sufficient evidence that they would have made the same decision to remove him even in the absence of the protected speech.Read the full ruling at the bottom of this post. Lack was sacked as Student Body President at Alpharetta High School in early February. A federal lawsuit filed on March 20 alleges the firing came when Lack proposed making the prom more gay friendly. But an attorney for Fulton County Schools says Lack “was essentially a poor leader” and that’s why he was removed. That shot came when school officials finally spoke out March 23 – both in a statement from attorney Suzann Wilcox Jiles and a summary from school system attorneys. Critics have taken to Twitter with their reactions, claiming they “don’t want to see a guy in a tiara win prom queen” and attacking Lack with tweets that include this:
fuck reuben lack and his gay ass. he is stupid as fuckThe immense reaction -- news of the lawsuit quickly became a national story -- has overwhelmed Lack and his attorney, James Radford.
This was initially very exciting. But the story may have gotten too big, too fast, and I believe the students, faculty, and administration at Alpharetta High School have found themselves overwhelmed. I know Reuben and his family have felt overwhelmed. Reuben is just a kid who wants to finish his term of class president, something that is very important to him, and something that he earned through his own hard work and persistence.UPDATE: Radford tells the Daily Report that the lawsuit will continue, despite not receiving the temporary restraining order from Story. Judge declines to reinstate Reuben Lack to student leader post