February 01, 2008

Rainbows prohibited over 'fountain of youth'

PONCE DE LEON, FL (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union claims that Ponce de Leon High School in Holmes County kept students from having rainbow stickers on their notebooks, suppressing their right to free speech.

The lawsuit against the Holmes County School Board and Ponce de Leon High School was filed Thursday in federal court in Panama City.

The ACLU says the school told them any form of expression in support for gay rights would "likely be disruptive." It also claims the school board's attorney said a rainbow sticker could mean students are members of an "illegal organization."

More . . .


oddjob said...

When I first saw this item (over at Pam's House Blend) I had to check a map of Florida to learn where this was. Needless to say when I saw it was in the heart of the panhandle I wasn't the slightest bit surprised.

Aikäne said...

Sad to say, I was not surprised. I grew up on a small farm in Holmes County. My ancestors didn't explore Florida with Ponce de Leon ;-) - but some of them arrived in the Northwest Florida Territory as early as the 1820's, settling from the Chattahoochee River to the Choctawhatchee River and westward to Pensacola. My parents, who still live in Bonifay, are two of the handful of registered Democrats who still vote for Democrats (Edwards in the recent primary).

It's always amusing to hear Joe Scarborough tout his "Panhandle" credentials as if growing up in Pensacola gives him some special insight - when he's nothing more than another political opportunist who made his name supporting (but, by a judge's denial, not representing) an abortion clinic bomber. And, running for office in Escambia County, he couldn't go wrong by becoming a mouthpiece for the military-industrial complex.

But the Panhandle is not the only "wrong-wing" region of the state. I now live in Adam Putnam's congressional district.

So, approaching almost 200 years of Florida living for my family, I can bear witness that the wagon wheels of progress have been stuck in the mud of prejudice and demogoguery for a very long time. And I'm still searching for that "fountain of youth" - and it's not in Holmes County. :-)