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.