LLR Pages

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Federal Judge Says Florida Government School Principal Persecuted Gay Students

A federal judge recently ruled in favor of a 17-year-old Florida lesbian government school teen by berating her principal for pursuing a "relentless crusade" against gay and lesbian teens at the government school known as Ponce de Leon High School and violated their First Amendment rights. Heather Gillman, the lesbian teen who was attacked by Principal David Davis, turned to the American Civil Liberties Union for legal assistance and took the school district to court after the government administrator told her that she couldn't wear gay pride clothing, stickers, and buttons in 2007.

Here's the story on the entire matter:

Judge: Fla. principal mistreated gay students
Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

PONCE DE LEON, Fla. - A federal judge scolded a Panhandle school principal, saying the administrator led a "relentless crusade" against gay and lesbian students at Ponce de Leon High School and violated their First Amendment rights.

Student Heather Gillman and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Holmes County School District, saying that the principal prohibited the teen from wearing gay pride clothing, stickers and buttons in 2007.

Students, including Gillman, had begun showing support after the taunting of a gay student at school. In response to the taunting incident, David Davis told the gay student it wasn’t right for her to be homosexual and held a morality assembly, according to testimony.
He also suspended several students for supporting Gillman, court records show.

A two-day trial was held in May, but U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak’s 36-page opinion wasn’t released until last week.

Smoak ruled that Davis violated Gillman’s rights by silencing all pro-gay messages. The principal also interrogated students about their sexual orientations, warned gay and lesbian students to stay away from other students and said that homosexuality was a sin.

'I emphasize that Davis’s personal and religious views about homosexuality are not issues in this case. Indeed, Davis’s opinions and views are consistent with the beliefs of many in Holmes County, in Florida, and in the country,' Smoak wrote. 'Where Davis went wrong was when he endeavored to silence the opinions of his dissenters.'

Smoak ordered the Holmes County school District to pay more than $300,000 in damages.

School Superintendent Steve Griffin said July 28 that Davis is no longer a principal; he now teaches American government classes at the high school. In response to the ruling, all teachers are undergoing sensitivity training this summer, he said.

'We’re working on training our teachers on First Amendment rights and free speech,' said Griffin.

This is another reason why the government schools should be abolished and why the free marketplace can allow students of all ages to pursue their education voluntarily. The government schools, such as the one mentioned in the above article, do not provide an environment of diversity but rather discrimination and segregation. Tax dollars are being funneled from property taxpayers to the schools and the bureaucrats have no incentive to spend the money the way you want them spent on. Plus, the one-size-fits-all policies have created an environment of conflict, belligerence, bigotry, and violence in the schools. (Have we all forgotten about Columbine?)

Moreover, there is no accountability in the schools, and the behavior of government officials like Davis who force their religious doctrine upon the students is unethical, unconstitutional, and immoral. This is the reason why more and more youths who are victimized by these statist thugs in the schools are despising the public "government" schools year after year. They don't want to be there but are coerced to remain on the grounds 8 hours a day, five days a week for 9 months out of the entire year and end up committing a variety of criminal acts, even though they are viewed as juveniles, thanks to the compulsory attendance and truancy laws. Additionally, the fact that they are "childified" (infantilized that is) and treated like children and not as youths (or, if you prefer, young adults) is indisputable, although the critics of that fact will write it off as a "viewpoint" or "opinion" and not address the reality of what transpires in these schools.

If we really want to end this nightmare of the government schools, let's repeal all school taxes (which coerces parents, childless couples, and young single people to fund the schools via their property taxes) and return education to the province of the free marketplace.