School Board back the high school head!
Pompano Beach in Florida, the US nation’s six largest public school district has cleared a high school principal accused of lecturing and threatening two female students with suspension for holding hands on campus. The students say the principal also “outed” them to their parents.
In a shock move the board are supporting the head, local newspaper, The South Florida Times has reports that The two were holding hands while walking to class on May 3 at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach. School Principal Karlton Johnson confronted and took them to his office.
We’re not identifying the two students, who are an interracial couple, one a junior, the other a senior. However both are good students, both have good grades and one is an honour student.
On Monday night, Franco E. Ripple, public outreach coordinator for Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, distributed this email to the media:
According to the article, earlier this month the school’s principal confronted an interracial lesbian couple who were holding hands, brought them into his office, gave them a speech and then separately called their mothers, one of which did not know that her daughter was gay. The School Board has cleared the principal of any wrongdoing, stating that the school has a blanket policy against holding hands that applies to all genders, races, sexual orientations, etc. However, a search of Blanche Ely High School’s website links only to the School Board’s code of conduct, and does not reference any school-specific policy against hand-holding.
Commissioner Jacobs was frustrated to learn that this kind of discrimination is happening in our schools in this era. She believes that Broward County passed a Human Rights Ordinance for a reason, and singling out gay students for an innocuous, harmless activity like holding hands is not within the spirit of that ordinance or the community.
The head’s actions have caused dismay and outrage across the US county,
Mr. Johnson clearly lacks the understanding of the unique factors contributing to the increased prevalence of bullying, suicide, substance abuse and more, of LGBTQ-youth. I will be recommending the District take immediate action and review cases where students were disciplined for simply holding hands. It is my initial gut feeling Mr. Johnson acted out of prejudice and not sound judgment.
Wrote M E Rajner a local equality activist and advisor to one of the school board members.
There has been a marked increase in hostility toward homosexuality in the state since Rick Scott won the mid term election race.