First requirement for being an education administrator or council member in Florida: You must be a Christian right nutter

I’ve written a few posts lately on the anti-evolution anti-reality Christian righttards making up the school board councils in a number of Florida counties. Today Ed Brayton posts on another righttarded state of affairs in Florida: the banning of pro-Gay Rights speech. The school also bans anti-gay speech. The school is taking a position similar to that of the Texas Education Agency with respect to evolution and intelligent design creationism. Recall that the agency fired the state’s top expert on science education, Kristine Comer, for sending an internal email regarding a Barbara Forrest speaking event against intelligent design creationism. Comer was fired because the TEA was “supposed to remain neutral” with regard to evolution and creationism, and cannot appear to favour one side over the other. I wonder if chemistry teachers get fired for speaking in favour of chemistry or speaking ill of alchemy… I have posted Brayton’s article in its entirety.

Brayton writes

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.

The ACLU sent a letter to the school board on behalf of a student named Heather Gillman and another student who was suspended for 5 days for such expression. The school attorney’s response letter was absolutely bizarre. The ACLU had given him a list of statements like “Gay? Fine with me” and symbols like traditional gay rights rainbow symbols and asked for clarification on which ones the school would prohibit. Their response:

Because of the occurrences at Ponce de Leon School over the last several months, none of the phrases, symbols, or images contained in your November 2, 2007, letter would bepermitted to be worn by students at Ponce de Leon School. The School Board and the administration of Ponce de Leon School have a duty to all students to protect the learning environment. Just as anti-gay speech, clothing and symbols would not be tolerated, neither would the items you have requested.

They further said that using pro-gay symbols is evidence of membership in “secret/illegal organizations.”

Also, said symbols were used and can further be used by select students to show participation in an illegal organization as defined by the School Board…As you know, Illegal organizations are defined by the School Board as any attempt to use the school day for activities that are not school related or school sponsored. Illegal organizations
are, therefore, prohibited as they interfere with the educational process.

Talk about overly broad! By their definition, a Nike symbol conveys membership in an illegal organization and must be banned. 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.

And it just gets worse:

14. Upon infOlmation and belief, Defendant Davis’s admonishments against Jane Doe became publicly known among the student body. Some students began writing “GP” or “Gay Pride” on their arms to show support for Jane Doe. On or about Tuesday, September 11, 2007, a rumor stalted among the students that Defendant Davis had invited an antigay preacher to speak at a mandatory assembly on Wednesday, September 12,2007. The rumor was partly confirmed by a silent bulletin on the classroom video monitors showing that there was going to be a “morality assembly” at the end of the day Wednesday.15. Upon information and belief, during lunchtime on Wednesday, September 12,2007, a group offriends ofJane Doe discussed the idea of peacefully walking out of the assembly in protest.

16. The “morality assembly” occurred on Wednesday, September 12,2007, and proceeded without incident. No students walked out of the assembly.

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 anns 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. To at least one student, Heather’s cousin, and her parent, Defendant Davis explained that he was suspending the student for: (1) belonging to a “secret society,” (2) threatening to walk out of the assembly, and (3) disrupting the school by being part of a gay protest. Heather heard about the suspensions and Defendant Davis’s prohibitions of student expression supporting the fair treatment of gays and lesbians from her cousin and a few other students.

Absolutely outrageous. This is a school in serious legal jeopardy, with a principal who needs to be fired immediately.

Mindboggling, isn’t it? Illegal organizations? Disruptive to education? I wonder if students advocating for the traditional family have to go through this.

6 Responses to “First requirement for being an education administrator or council member in Florida: You must be a Christian right nutter”
  1. Stoobs says:

    Everyone knows that gays are a secret society (well, gays and Jews.) They run Hollywood, and make sure that no one straight can get a job there! They pump poison gas in through peoples windows at night, to turn them gay! They adopt straight children and drown them, so they can be replaced by gay shapeshifting aliens!

    Do you want shapeshifting aliens gaying up your children’s schools?

  2. Richard and Heather Mayo says:

    Kids go to school to learn abc’s of functioning in life and to prepare to go to college in order to be able to find a good career. I’m not gay, don’t plan on being gay and have no sympathy for the gay’s or their agenda. If you want to be gay then that’s your business, but I don’t want to be around it nor do I want my children to be around it. These kids are not doing what they are doing because they have been discriminated against. They are out to get attention, to stir the pot. they don’t have any respect for themselves or any body else. They aren’t proud to be gay , its about shoving their beliefs into other peoples faces. They have a right to be gay if they want , and I have a right not to be gay if I don’t. The ACLU and other agencies have their on agenda to promote and now they use the kids to spread their message. Its a crying shame that the parents of these kids either let or push them to conduct themselves in that manner. High school is a place to learn, first off whether you want to be gay or not, that should not even be a topic in school. You should be there to get an education to better yourself in life. TV shows, ACLU and other organizations, the entertainment industry (Hollywood), and just the general public has let things get out of control. Enough is enough, grow up. School is not the place for crap like this. If parents of the kids who are there to learn an education would pull their kids out of school they could put a stop to nonsense like this. This stuff isn’t just going on in Ponce de Leon, its happening everywhere, more and more. (TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CALIFORNIA, COMING SOON TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU) You can thank all the parents, teachers, news media and so forth. Everybody who just sits back and lets thing such as this take place can share the blame. People who are what I call normal just sit back and let the idiots of the world have free reign, They don’t want to be the one that stands out and takes ridicule for their beliefs. The only ones that stand up for their beliefs are the sicko’s, idiots, and people that just don’t know what they stand for. Everybody stand up and pat themselves on the back, you are just as responsible for this kind of crap as the ones wanting gay rights at school. You just sit back and let it happen. We are at fault because we let it get to this point. You can’t get everybody to stand up for the good things in life, but they will come from everywhere to stand up for the wrong, and we just sit back and let it happen. ONE LAST THING, TO THE TWO GIRLS THAT WERE CAIGHT IN THE BATHROOM HAVING SEX, I BET YOUR PARENTS WOULD BE PROUD.

  3. Dereck says:

    If you would like to tell David Davis what you think, email him at at Shed some light why all civil liberties should be protected not just what he sees fit.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] February 6, 2008 — ronbrown Yesterday I received an infuriated comment in response to my post on a Florida school banning gay rights communications.  The ignorance and unAmericanism that filled this comment is astounding but at the same time […]

  2. […] be taught as “just a theory” February 6, 2008 — ronbrown Remember what I said about having to be a right-wing Christian nutter in order to be a public school administrator or […]

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