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Mr. Principal, Don’t Be Hatin’

gay%20flag%20huge%20sign%20rainbow%20large%20homosexual.gifNo doubt Ponce de Leon High School (Florida) Principal David Davis would deny it’s hatin’. Decide for yourself. As reported by the Student Press Law Center:

The lawsuit, filed Thursday [by a junior at the school], alleges that Principal David Davis told several students who were wearing rainbow belts and shirts and writing pro-gay expressions on their hands that supporting gay and lesbian rights was impermissible at the school. Davis suspended several of the students, leading junior Heather Gillman to question what expressions the school board prohibits.

Benjamin James Stevenson, a Florida ACLU attorney representing Gillman, sent a letter to the school board asking for guidance on what was regarded as permissible speech. The letter included 16 examples of phrases, symbols and images, such as “I Support My Gay Friends,” “GP [Gay Pride]” and “Pro-Gay Marriage,” and asked which if any of the symbols or phrases students could wear at school.

Brandon J. Young, an attorney for the school board, replied in a Nov. 12 letter that none of the symbols or phrases would be allowed. The letter said that, although the school board does not restrict pro-gay or anti-gay expression as such, school policy bars students from wearing anything “that may reasonably disrupt and interfere with the educational process of that student or other students.”

No! No! Not …. the rainbow! We’re doomed! So how much loot is the student asking for? A dollar.

The complaint asks the court for an injunction to prohibit school officials from suppressing students’ First Amendment rights. Among other things, the suit also asks for $1 in nominal damages, attorney fees and a declaration that the school violated Gillman’s rights.

To read more (a fair amount) click here.

UPDATE: A federal judge awarded the students’ attorneys $325,000 in fees, finding that the school principal violated the students’ first and fourteenth amendment rights. You can read a lot more here.

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