Nothing Wrong With a Little Hating in Ponce De Leon

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Aug 262008

Some months back, a high school senior in Holmes County, Florida (up in the Pan Handle) went to her high school principal to report that she was being harassed by some other students. Now, most of us would expect the principal to take some action against the young lady’s tormentors, no? Well, that would not be the correct assumption in Holmes County.

An AP story on tells a different story. Principal David Davis got severely reprimanded by a federal judge for conducting a “witch hunt” against gays. Davis was demoted, and school employees must now go through sensitivity training. And the school district had to pay a little over $300k in legal fees. It seems that Davis, rather than offering help to the young woman told her homosexuality was wrong, outed her to her parents, and then, when some supportive students started wearing gay pride t-shirts and rainbow clothing, Davis’ head apparently exploded.

Good ole Principal Davis started questioning them about their sexuality, questioning if they associated with gay people, and even suspended some of them. One of the girls Davis harassed in this way told her mother, who, to set the proper example, contacted the ACLU. The ACLU brought the suit resulting in Davis’ admonishment by the court.

One might also think that, having brought such disrepute on the school, Davis might be sent packing. Up in the pan handle, one would be wrong again. Steve Griffin, Holmes County’s school superintendent, who keeps a Bible on his desk and framed Scriptures on his office walls said, “We are a small, rural district in the Bible Belt with strong Christian beliefs and feel like homosexuality is wrong.” So, Davis was just demoted, and is still teaching at the school.

Many in the community there are on Davis side. According to one 73 year old resident, “David Davis is a fine man and good principal, and we are a gentle, peaceful, Christian, family-oriented community. We aren’t out to tar and feather anyone.” of course the mother who filed the complaint might have a different perspective about the tar and feather thing. A Wal-Mart worker yelled at her, accusing her of trying to “bankrupt” the school district. One of her friends has refused to talk to her because the lawsuit conflicted with the woman’s religious beliefs.

Good gentle, peaceful, Christian, Family-oriented values.

Feb 242007

I have the greatest respect for educators in general, and believe they are generally under-valued in our society.

BUT, apparently, as in every other field, a few idiots manage to gain entry.

In Murray, KY, a middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to state trooper instead of a dealer, police said. Trooper Trevor Pervine was at dinner with his wife and parents celebrating a birthday when his phone started buzzing with messages about a marijuana purchase.

At first, Pervine thought the messages were from friends playing a joke, but a couple of phone calls put that idea to rest, and Pervine responded to set up a meeting. Authorities say Ann Greenfield, 34, arrived at the meeting point and found Pervine and other law enforcement officers waiting for her.

Closer to home, a popular Principal at Van Bueren Middle School here in Tampa, was arrested at school Friday after he got an undercover officer, posing as a drug dealer, to delivery crack to his office at school. He was arrested as he escorted the officer to the lobby of the school.

He taught emotionally handicapped children in 1991 at Young Middle School and continued working with special education students at Jefferson High in 1997. Two years later, he was appointed as a coordinator at James Exceptional Center and five years later became site administrator at Dorothy Thomas, where his work earned praise from Hillsborough County Children’s Services.

Giancola also had glowing reviews in his personnel file, saying he is “dedicated … and willing to go the extra mile.” Students affectionately call him Mr. G; students he occasionally fed pizzas, paid for out of his own pocket; the needy students he bought yearbooks for. Of course, there were plenty of children around.

Good as he was it appears, the word is the drug use began when his marriage went bad. And while I would normally more sympathetic, to have it delivered to school, apparently with the intent to smoke it at school (he allegedly told the undercover officer he wanted “to hit it right there”), removes any degree of sympathy I could muster.

The cops couldn’t do it after school, or make the arrest in his office and whisk him out quietly. They have to make a big deal out of it.