California principal bans donations of sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A
A California principal has banned donations on campus from a local Chick-Fil-A because of alleged discrimination by the fast food chain.
Ventura High School Principal Val Wyatt told the Ventura County Star that the company's "political stance on gay rights" was reason enough to prevent 200 donated lunches from being used by the school's booster club to raise money for the school's football team.
“Because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want [Chick-Fil-A] on campus," Wyatt said. Her position has been backed by Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Trudy Little Arriaga, who said that "we value inclusivity and diversity on our campus and all of our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission."
A Los Angeles-area CBS affiliate reported that principals are allowed flexibility regarding what businesses and groups are invited to campus.
Chick-Fil-A is known nationally for both its food and its owners' Christian beliefs. The company, which says it hires and serves homosexuals, is privately owned by the Cathy family. In 2012, the company’s president, Dan Cathy, noted that they support the traditional definition of marriage, which sparked a months-long controversy around the nation.
Neither Wyatt nor Arriaga responded to multiple requests for comment from LifeSiteNews about whether the ban amounts to discrimination, or how they would handle other groups -- such as Planned Parenthood -- being on campus. However, according to David Hacker, senior legal counsel for the Christian-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, Wyatt's decision "appears to be straight-up viewpoint discrimination."
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"By telling the booster club that they can't have this fundraiser with Chick-Fil-A because the principal doesn't like Chick-Fil-A's views, that's viewpoint discrimination. That's never allowed," said Hacker. "What you have here is a high school principal saying the booster club can't accept donations."
"Schools should be encouraging students to hear from diverse points of view. So to exclude a booster club from accepting a donation from a local business because some students might be offended is discriminatory treatment."
The CBS affiliate reports that the Ventura Chick-Fil-A has donated $21,000 to area schools, and the donated lunches would have raised $1,600 for the team. Tickets for meals will still be sold off-campus, when school is not in session.