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.

Mises was Right, Part 2: Feulner, Neocons, Heritage, Georgia, Mont Pelerin

“It turns out, of course, that Mises was right.”
—Robert Heilbroner (1990), "After Communism", The New Yorker, September 10: 92 (1, 2, 3)

Regarding Paul Craig Roberts's "I Resign from the Mont Pelerin Society":

Interesting connected facts:

1. Formerly libertarian Mont Pelerin Society (which lists Hayek, Friedman, "Coase," and others as "Notable Members", but not Mises): its Treasurer is one "Edwin Feulner."

2. Feulner is President of Heritage.

3. In "Saving Georgia," Heritage Web Memo #2021, and The Russian-Georgian War: A Challenge for the U.S. and the World, on "Ariel Cohen, Ph.D." buys into the Bush administration's propaganda that uses "the Russian invasion of Georgia" as an excuse for further American hegemony.

No wonder Hans-Hermann Hoppe founded the Property and Freedom Society to take up the reins that MPS has dropped.

As Guido Hülsmann noted in "Ludwig von Mises and the Mt. Pelerin Society. Strategic Lessons" a speech delivered at the inaugural meeting of the PFS in 2006 (summary; program):
As classical liberal economists were usually not employed in institutions of higher learning (the teaching of economic science was not primarily organized within the universities), they built other institutions, from loose networks to political parties. By 1860 governments realized the danger to themselves that the classical economists posed. Their answer was to create their own economists and thus control the market of ideas. This strategy was first applied in Germany with the German Historical School or “Schmollerism” and soon spread to other countries, each with its own specific national feature. John Stuart Mill in Britain for example changed the meaning of liberalism into interventionism, while the Russian government thought that Schmoller was too tame and hired Marxist economists instead.

This trend continued into the 20th century, with Ludwig von Mises being one of the very few setting himself against it. After demolishing the case for socialism and putting the case for radical liberalism, he insisted that no “third way” was possible, as this would invariably lead to a loss of prosperity and in the end, socialism.

In the first half of the 20th century, a number of societies were founded by liberals to counter the trend towards socialism. By 1938, four schools of thought were represented:

Neoliberalism, i.e., practical and theoretical compromise with socialism; F.A. v. Hayek, for whom a small amount of intervention was permissible; Alexander Rüstow, who considered natural hierarchies as necessary for society; and Ludwig v. Mises, who stood for complete laissez faire.

Nine years and one World War later, these groups convened to form the Mont Pèlerin Society (MPS). At the same time, Leonard Read’s FEE in America was publishing leaflets explaining the ideas of Mises and organizing seminars and speeches for Mises and others. These activities were extremely important for spreading Mises’ thoughts, especially to young people. Ralph Raico, George Reisman and Murray N. Rothbard were among those influenced by the FEE papers. Without the FEE, the Chicago School would have totally dominated the field of free market ideology.

Mises was skeptical about the MPS right from the start; he was particularly concerned because of the participation of certain people. In 1947, he stormed out of a meeting, saying: “You’re all a bunch of socialists.”

Today, the MPS, a society of eminent scholars, mainly represents Neoliberalism. Therefore, the PFS could play the role that the MPS was originally designed to play: spreading the uncompromising intellectual radicalism of freedom.

(See also Hülsmann, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism, pp. 871, 989-90, 1003-10, 1032, et pass.)

This helps place in context the principles for the PFS as announced by Hoppe at its founding in 2006:
The Property and Freedom Society stands for an uncompromising intellectual radicalism: for justly acquired private property, freedom of contract, freedom of association .... It condemns imperialism and militarism and their fomenters, and champions peace. It rejects positivism, relativism, and egalitarianism in any form .... As such it seeks to avoid any association with the policies and proponents of interventionism, which Ludwig von Mises had identified in 1946 as the fatal flaw in the plan of the many earlier and contemporary attempts by intellectuals alarmed by the rising tide of socialism and totalitarianism to found an anti-socialist ideological movement. Mises wrote: "What these frightened intellectuals did not comprehend was that all those measures of government interference with business which they advocated are abortive. ... There is no middle way. Either the consumers are supreme or the government."