Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Florida School Attempts to Ban Pro-Gay Speech

I Previously did a post about Ponce de Leon High School, a high school in Florida, where the principal, David Davis, was trying to stamp out any reference to or support for fair treatment of LGBT students. Initial reports were bad enough, but reading portions of the school board’s response to the ACLU – which has since filed a lawsuit against the school division – and the allegations contained in the ACLU complaint evidence a school system out of control in terms of ignoring the law. Moreover, the district seems well on the road to overt anti-gay actions that would give James Dobson and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee ecstasy filled wet dreams. I can only think that Christ must be shaking his head in dismay over the actions of this Pharisee like bigots. Anyone who would like to express their thoughts to Principal David Davis can e-mail him here: davisd@hdsb.org Here are some highlights on situation via Dispatches from the Culture Wars (http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/02/florida_school_bans_progay_spe.php):

The ACLU has filed suit against Ponce de Leon High School in Florida on behalf of several students who have been forbidden from any form of expressive support for gay rights - t-shirts, buttons, even a rainbow symbol on a bookbag or a notebook. The school board is taking the bizarre position that any such symbol is evidence that students belong to an "illegal organization" and that all pro-gay speech is inherently disruptive. According to the legal complaint, this all began in September when a lesbian student at the school was harassed by a group of students. She complained to a teacher about it and was then called into the principal's office and harangued for being gay:

Upon information and belief, at the end of the school day on Monday, September 10,2007, Defendant Davis called Jane Doe into his office to discuss the incident on the previous Friday. Defendant Davis asked Jane Doe if she had told the teacher's aide that she was a lesbian. Jane Doe answered "yes" in order to give context to the taunting. He then asked, "are you a lesbian?" Jane Doe answered yes. He explained that Jane Doe should not be gay and she should not tell people she is gay. Mr. Davis then instructed Jane Doe not to talk with the "middle school" girls. Defendant Davis also told Jane Doe that "gay pride" was a disgrace to the school.

17. Upon information and belief, during the days after the assembly, Defendant Davis called in about a dozen students to interrogate them about the "GP" and "Gay Pride" writings that some students were displaying on their arms and school materials and about the rumored walkout of the assembly. During those meetings, Defendant Davis instructed students not to wear a rainbow belt and or to write "Gay Pride" or "GP" on their arms or notebooks.

18. One of the students that Defendant Davis called into his office during the days after the assembly is Heather's cousin, who is also a student at Ponce de Leon High School. Upon information and belief, Defendant Davis interrogated Heather's cousin about her sexual orientation and about the sexual orientation of other students at the school. Defendant Davis also stated something to the effect of being gay was not right and that being gay is against the Bible. He further stated that he hoped that Heather's cousin would not "go down that road" of being gay. He then instructed her not to discuss her sexual orientation with any students at the school, not to say "gay pride" or write it on her body or school materials, and not to wear gay themed clothing, including her rainbow-colored belt. Defendant Davis explained to Heather's cousin that if she were to do any of these things, he would suspend her from school.

19. Upon information and belief, on or about Friday, September 21, 2007, and Monday, September 24,2007, Defendant Davis suspended a handful of students, including Heather's cousin, for five school days each for expressing their support for the fair treatment of gays and lesbians.

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