Alex Blaze

Win for students' free expression

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 14, 2008 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: free speech, Heather Gillman, Ponce de Leon High School, pride gear

A federal judge ruled in favor of students in a case at Ponce de Leon High School in Floriday, where junior Heather Gillman sued for the right to wear pride gear. The principal argued this week that students couldn't do things like write "gay pride" on their arms and notebooks and wear rainbows and triangles because they "make students unable to study because they'd be picturing gay sex acts in their mind."

Hmmmm... I remember a few things that made me picture gay sex acts in my mind in high school (other boys, rocks shaped kinda like penises, warm weather), but I can't say rainbows were among them.

The argument might seem lame, that kids would start to think about gay sex if they see pride stuff, but, then again, these people think automatically about gay sex whenever they think about anything gay. Maybe, for this principal, that's true.

Or, since schools can't regulate free speech of students unless they can prove that speech disruptive, the principal might have just thought of the only way pride gear can be disruptive.

Wearing a Confederate flag, though, is OK:

Another interesting point, 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.

So, because most American schools are effectively segregated, it's OK to support racism? And kids think about gay sex when they see a rainbow, so it's not OK to support queer liberation? I suppose we're not exactly dealing with the Brain Trust here.

Oh, well. Go kids! And go ACLU!


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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 14, 2008 12:22 PM

And we thought "military intelligence" was an oxymoron. Unfortunately "minor children" do not have the same rights of expression as those 18 years of age. Still, you would think that the adults would PRETEND to set a good example while they teach about the Bill of Rights. I will take any victory. Thanks kids! Thanks ACLU!

I thought that was God's message with the rainbow: "And when you see the rainbow, you'll think of gay sex."

To be honest, i would like to meet this girl! she is amazing to beable to stand up like that. Our school aint that bad, we just can't assemble a club for the discrimination of the lbgtq community! I love you girl! CONGRADULATIONS!