Via TJICistan, I read this blood-boiling piece by Eugene Volokh about a the actions of one David Davis, who is (a) the principal of Ponce de Leon High School in Holmes County, Florida and (b) a bigoted censorious low-rent Napoleonic douche.
Heather Gillam sued the Holmes County School Board and recently won a significant victory in federal court. Regrettably she did not sue Davis himself. Volokh has a good synopsis, but read the opinion to get the full flavor. In brief, a student (named as Jane Doe in the suit) went to Davis when she was being ridiculed for being gay. Davis responded by telling her it was wrong for her to be gay and threatening to call her parents and inform them of her sexual preference. When Doe's fellow students (including Gillam) expressed support for her, Davis and the school board embarked on a the sort of freakish censorious tirade and inquisition that you see when little people with petty authority feel challenged. Davis interviewed 30 students in an effort to get the bottom, if you will excuse the expression, of the school's gay pride movement and forbade students from pro-gay expressions:
Davis began investigating what had come to be known as the “Gay Pride” movement at the school. He interviewed approximately thirty students, interrogated them about their sexual orientations, and questioned them about their involvement in the planned walk-out of the assembly and their activities in relation to the movement. During those meetings, Davis instructed students who were homosexual not to discuss their sexual orientations. He also prohibited students from wearing rainbow belts or writing “Gay Pride” or “GP” on their arms and notebooks. He required students to wash “GP” or “Gay Pride” from their arms and hands and lifted the shirts of female students to verify that no such writings were present on their bodies.
That last part sounds creepy and pervy, but at least it's not gay. Did the school board reign Davis in? Hell no. They backed him — as the stunted and petty cronies of stunted and petty authorities will tend to do — and told Gillman in response to her inquiry that a wide swath of pro-gay expressions were off limits:
Specifically, Gillman sought permission from the School Board to display rainbows, pink triangles, and the following slogans: “Equal, Not Special Rights,” “Gay? Fine By Me,” “Gay Pride” or “GP,” “I Support My Gay Friends,” “I Support Gays,” “God Loves Me Just the Way I Am,” “I’m Straight, But I Vote Pro- Gay,” “I Support Equal Marriage Rights,” “Pro-Gay Marriage,” “Sexual Orientation is Not a Choice. Religion, However, Is.”
By letter dated November 12, 2007, the School Board responded that none of the phrases, symbols, or images contained in the letter dated November 2, 2007, could be displayed by students at Ponce de Leon High School. The School Board justified its censorship on the ground that the expressions indicated membership in an “illegal organization” prohibited by School Board policy and were disruptive to the educational process.
Davis and the school board conceded, however, that they did not investigate or prohibit heterosexual sexual-related expression (Davis admitted that he did not investigate when a female student complained that a male student offered her five bucks to "get in her pants") and didn't prohibit symbols like swastikas or the Confederate flag.
Gillman was won, hands-down. So, by extension, did Jane Doe. Do you think that anything will happen to Davis, or the members of the School Board for Holmes County that embarked on this censorious nonsense?
Don't be silly. Petty authority takes care of its own.
(Edited because I got my supporters and lesbians mixed up).
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