Shelton/Lindstrom v. Anoka-Hennepin School District

Court where filed: 
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
Date Filed: 
01/28/2011
Status: 
Settled
Plaintiffs: 
Desiree Shelton and Sarah Lindstrom
Defendants: 
Anoka-Hennepin School District; Champlin Park High School; Dennis Carlson, in his official capacity as the superintendent of Anoka-Hennepin School District; Michael George, in his official capacity as the Principal of Champlin Park High School;
Case Related Items 

Desiree Shelton and Sarah Lindstrom were both selected by their classmates as "royalty” for the Snow Days winter events at Champlin Park High School. In an effort to prevent them from walking in the royal procession together as a same-sex couple, the school altered the processional.

Traditionally, at the school-wide Snow Days Pep Fest and Coronation, CPHS holds a processional in which the members of the court enter the assembly walking in pairs. CPHS has allowed students elected as royalty to choose their processional partner if they have a preference. When two students who are boyfriend and girlfriend are selected, it has been common practice to allow them to walk in the processional together. But after the students selected Lindstrom and Shelton as "royalty,” the school altered this part of the festivities to prevent Shelton and Lindstrom from walking in the processional as a same-sex couple.

The school's actions were a clear violation of these students' rights under the First and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Minnesota Constitution and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, according to the lawsuit. Less than 24 hours after filing the lawsuit, the SPLC reached a settlement agreement with school officials that allowed the girls to walk as a couple in the royal processional.  The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Faegre & Benson LLP acted as co-counsel.

Co-Counsel: 

Faegre and Benson LLP
National Center for Lesbian Rights