Sunday, August 24, 2008

High school principal outs a lesbian student

Replace the word lesbian with the word atheist in this story and you capture the essence of my anger. If this can happen to an innocent young girl appealing for help from her school's principle, it can happen to a young atheist  too. I would hate to be trapped in Florida's fundie belt.

When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents and ordered her to stay away from children.

He suspended some of her friends who expressed their outrage by wearing gay pride T-shirts and buttons at Ponce de Leon High School, according to court records. And he asked dozens of students whether they were gay or associated with gay students.

Source: High school principal outs a lesbian student to her parents, suspends students who support her

Former Principal David Davis (demoted to teacher) crossed the line separating  secular education from his Christian beliefs. Instead of helping a young girl in need, he punished her and repressed any sign of support for her. What he did was in keeping with the Christian world view that homosexuality is evil. This shows how hard it is for Christians to separate what they think is right from our constitutionally mandated civil rights.  Davis did not get it. Nor did the school board. Nor did the community in which they all live.

"We are a small, rural district in the Bible Belt with strong Christian beliefs and feel like homosexuality is wrong," said Steve Griffin, Holmes County's school superintendent, who keeps a Bible on his desk and framed Scriptures on his office walls.

Instead of protecting his students, Davis conducted a witch hunt. Instead of firing Davis, Steve Griffin simply demoted him. Davis acted like a fundie nutball.

"Davis embarked on what can only be characterized as a 'witch hunt' to identify students who were homosexual and their supporters, further adding fuel to the fire," U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak recounted in his ruling. "He went so far as to lift the shirts of female students to insure the letters 'GP' or the words 'Gay Pride' were not written on their bodies."

I'm surprised he did not perform a strip search. Because... you know, lesbians wear special underwear. What a nutball. I am again reminded that gay rights is an atheist issue. Each attack on a gay person is driven by Christian theocratic tenancies. We must push back.

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8 comments:

anton said...

mojoey:

In reference to one of your previous posts and my comments about "nutjobs". According to my definition, Davies is one of the "nutjobs" to whom I was referring. Or are we using different dictionaries?

Don't get me wrong, your posts are excellant, but I don't think we are going to get anwhere until we put the "lunatic fringe" in their place. If we don't, we're letting them carry their "nutcaseflag" in the parade, and we are following them.

James said...

It is a sad state of affairs when our PUBLICLY PAID SERVANTS get to determine how people should live according to their own personal beliefs. This "nutjob" Davies not only should have been removed as principle, he should have been banned from the public school system and sent to some type of "acceptance" academy. I wonder if he has ever been ridiculed or felt fearful of personal harm due to how he looks or who he loves?

The religious right calls homosexuality an abomination....from my standpoint, the religious right is the abomination.

Just as they hate "fags", prior to the social movement to accept those with differing sexual orientations, the so called religious right was founded upon maintain segregation, because of their hate of people of color.

One common thread in the religious right. Hate!

Carolyn Ann said...

Davis should have been fired; that he wasn't was probably a sop to the community.

Considering an article I read in the Times about a Florida teacher trying to teach evolution to a bunch of students, well, let's just say that Davis being demoted was a little more than I would have expected.

Some people get confused with "religious fundamentalist dogma" and The Constitution of the United States. It's a pity, but it's oh so prevalent.

Carolyn Ann

Just Suzanne said...

I am from the Florida panhandle, which is where Ponce de Leon and many towns just like it are. This why I am FROM the panhandle...the thinking of almost every person who lives there closely resembles the people in this article. It is Southern Baptist country. And Church of God. And Holiness, Pentecostal, ad nauseum.

Thank you, Mojoey, for bringing this story to my attention. I hadn't read this before, and, like you, find it amazingly disturbing that the Principal wasn't fired. I hope that the young woman in question has the gumption to file a civil rights suit against the state and school board for this travesty.

Peace.

DromedaryHump said...

Mojoey said:
"I am again reminded that gay rights is an atheist issue. Each attack on a gay person is driven by Christian theocratic tenancies. We must push back."

And yet in another breath/ and another thread you "don't understand" the gay jesus poster as being part and parcel to that "push back".

Perhaps you mean we should only "gently nudge" back?... and not push back too hard, lest we as atheists, the presumably enlightened leaders against bigotry, be deemed just to darn insensitive, too darn radical?

The Catholic Church, the self proclaimed keepers of the flame of human dignity, "nudged" but never "pushed back" against the Nazi "final solution". Perhaps if they had been less genteel and more "in their face", a few million lives would have been saved.

30 centuries of theistically inspired bigotry have run their course. Yet we still worry about the bigot's "sensitivities".

I smell hypocracy. Oh wait..no, its dinner!! Later ;)

Mojoey said...

Humb - was the Jesus is gay thing a gay rights issue? I totally missed that give the organizer was just trying to piss people off for the shock value and had no deeper content intended.

You can go on thinking there was some bigger message, but the reality was the kid behind it just wanted to see his name in the papers.

DromedaryHump said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DromedaryHump said...

Mojoey...
it was PRECISELY a gay rights issue...if only tangentally.

The scripture the kid referenced is documented. The link I gave under the other blogg subject, that discusses scholarly consideration of Jesus' possible homosexuality addresses that scripture in some detail.

Interestingly: 51% of Xtians say that if jesus WERE homosexual, it wouldn't change their faith. 49% said it would (see same link). Almost half would abandon their faith if Jesus were in fact gay. Think about that!!

If the kid is, as he said " Challenging" peoples beliefs in what they think they know, their knowledge of this debated perspective should be challenged and elevated in discourse.

If just ONE Xtian thinks "Hmmm...maybe I'm making too much of this gay thing, what would Jesus have said?", then the in your face approach was worth 10,000 hurt feelings.

IMO anyway.

Well..i guess we whipped this to death, eh?
regards,
Hump