Anti-Gay FL School Board Hit With Legal Fees
July 28th, 2008
In May we told you about Principal David Davis at Panama City, Florida’s Ponce de Leon High School. Mr. Davis was unhappy that a gay student had friends and supporters so he banned all positive messages about gays or equality, be it by button, armband, sticker or symbol. The ACLU didn’t find that amusing and sued Davis and his school board.
I commented at the time that Davis seemed astonishingly stupid. My opinion hasn’t changed.
Davis outed a gay student to her parents, organized a “morality assembly”, and interrogated students about their orientation, and suspended students that were part of the “Gay Pride” movement.
Now the judge has issued his opinion (pdf) and has awarded legal recovery to the plaintiffs. And Davis’ homophobia cost the district $325,000 in legal fees and cost (plus a dollar to the plaintiff).
As for Davis, (WTVY)
Davis has chosen to return to the classroom and teach American government and other classes.
Somehow I don’t think that the curricula involving the First Amendment will receive the attention that it deserves.
Florida School Must Allow Pro-Gay Students
May 13th, 2008
We reported about David Davis, the principal of Ponce de Leon High School who forbid any support for gay students on campus. Now a judge has determined that this censorship cannot be allowed.
Judge Richard Smoak of the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, Panama City Division, issued an order that forces the school to stop its unconstitutional censorship of students who want to express their support for the fair and equal treatment of gay people. The judge also warned the district not to retaliate against students over the lawsuit.
The ACLU has more information on their website including a draft of the judge’s comments. Smoak was not particularly sympathetic to Davis, the School Board, or their attorneys.
I think the School Board may have take a different direction in this case and responded differently perhaps with wiser counsel.
He was particularly unimpressed by the School Superintendant’s “investigation” into the matter, the attorney’s paranoid rantings about a secret/illegal society, and the principal’s fear of imminent chaos.
Supporting Equality Not Allowed at Florida School
May 12th, 2008
David Davis is the principal at Panama City, Florida’s Ponce de Leon High School. He also has some interesting ideas about which symbols are appropriate and which are offensive to wear on clothing at his campus.
For example, WMBB reports
Davis says clothes with the confederate flag are allowed at school. He says they haven’t caused a distraction. Of the 406 students at the high school, none of them are African American.
But if symbols associated with slavery are inoffensive, what ever could be?
Well, that would be any reference whatsoever that you support equality. Yikes!! That could just lead to civil unrest.
It all started when a student who was ridiculed for being gay approached the principal. Instead of protecting her, he advised that she stay in the closet and not talk about her orientation.
That didn’t go over so well with some of the other students. A couple dozen of them thought they’d stand up for their gay classmates.
Days later, Davis heard of students making gay rights signs, and reports of 25 of them coming to school with the letters “GP” or “Gay Pride” written on their hands.
[17 Year old Heather] Gillman says she is not gay, but her cousin (a student at PDL High) is.
Gillman made t-shirts with slogans like:
-”I support equal marriage rights”
-”I support gays”
-”Equal not special rights”
Well Davis couldn’t have that. He suspended eleven students and threatened expulsion. Unlike Confederate symbols, supporting equal marriage rights is against the school dress code.
So Gillman sued David Davis and the Holmes County School Board.
The case is in trial and so far Davis is showing himself to be intensely stupid.
Monday in court, Davis said students who see the slogans and symbols would be distracted in class, even have mental images of gays having sex.
And this is the man they have in charge of education at Ponce de Leon High School.