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Did The ACLU Really Rescue Bullied Florida Teen Luke Herbert?

Luke Herbert, the Florida high schooler who suffered bullying from students and teachers a like, supposedly secured a decent settlement agreement with Flagler Palm Coast High School via the ACLU, which finagled a deal where the school would implement LGBT anti-bullying policies, his shop teacher Floyd Binkley would apologize, and Herbert would get to complete his education online and have the option to return in the fall. So how come his No. 1 alleged tormenter is still roaming the halls? And why does Luke look like he’s still being victimized?

Herbert began at Flagler Palm Coast High in August. The anti-gay bullying, which he suffered in middle school, began again immediately.

To his knowledge, the school made no general announcements — whether in assemblies, over loudspeaker systems, or in memos — to the effect that anti-gay bullying would not be tolerated. Luke says that right from the beginning of the school year, “people looked at me weird and laughed at me.” At one pep rally shortly after the start of the term, he found himself all alone, with no friends. Indeed, Luke lost a lot of friends going into high school because, he says, “talking any more to the gay kid wasn’t cool.” One of his close friends stopped associating with him after an incident in the lunch room. “There was a group of students sitting at the table. They were saying that they didn’t want to sit with me, that I was a freak and a faggot, and that they didn’t want to breathe the same air as me. After that, I always sat alone. I felt depressed.”

On the bus to and from the school, Luke was targeted for persecution because he was gay. “They wouldn’t make room for me in any of the seats,” he says, “and the bus isn’t allowed to move until everybody is sitting down. So I’d be standing there, and everybody would be making fun of me. The driver knew that was going on. That was another reason I didn’t want to get up in the morning.” Luke says that when he was being hounded in school, no other student ever came to his defense, by summoning an adult, or in any other way.

[...] At the school, in the fall, a student in Luke’s science class started harassing and stalking Luke. Their science teacher had placed them in the same working group within that class. Luke complained to the science teacher about the bullying, and the teacher promised to “work on” getting Luke assigned to a different group, but never carried through on the promise. In the class, the student abused and demeaned Luke by saying things like “You’re a fag!” and “I don’t want to work with you.” Passing Luke in the corridors between classes, this student would assault and sometimes even physically attack his victim. On one occasion, a dean saw Luke’s tormentor following him into a restroom, in an attitude of spoiling to provoke a physical fight. The student said to the dean “I’ll fight him if I want to.”

The student began stalking and threatening Luke over the internet. Via Facebook, he sent Luke messages such as “You’re in for a beat down” and “I’m going to take you out of school in a body bag.” “It was pretty scary,” Luke says now. Somebody started a “Beating up Luke” Facebook page, which got “liked” by about two dozen people. Among them were students Luke knew to be friends with his tormentor.

Here is what Luke remembers of that tormentor’s savage physical attack against him, which occurred outside the building, on school grounds. “He came out of nowhere and shoved me down onto the cement. Pretty much, I blacked out; my head had hit the ground.” Luke says that as he was recovering awareness of what was going on, he saw a worker at the school coming to his rescue and then separating his assailant from him. The attack happened shortly before Thanksgiving break. Over Thanksgiving, the attacker sent Luke a message “Ha ha ha! How are you feeling?”

His science class tormenter was suspended for 10 days. And when he returned, he and Luke were supposed to be placed in separate classes. Didn’t happen. Because of privacy laws the school cannot name Luke’s bully, but supposedly Flagler Palm Coast High’s assistant principal/dean of discipline Travis Lee “told Luke Herbert’s family that the stalker and attacker had a prior record and would not be returning to the school, that he was going to be sent to a special teaching facility for delinquents. … However that might be, the attacker was back at FPC following his ten day suspension. And not just back at the school, but placed right back into Luke’s same classroom.”

As for shop teacher Binkley, who Luke says singled him out when making anti-gay remarks in front of the class? He’s married to Liz Binkley, the executive secretary to Flagler County superintendent Janet Valentine. Well! Maybe that explains the baby slap on the wrist he received. The ACLU got Flagler County officials to force Binkley to apologize, publicly, though there doesn’t seem to be any timeline for that to happen, nor a draft of that apology in the works.

Moreover, about that supposed grand agreement the ACLU mitigated for Luke? Politicus USA‘s Scott Rose, who’s carefully reported on Luke’s story, says it’s a “feeble, empty resolution.” Further:

The agreement provides no financial compensation whatsoever to victim Luke Herbert. Luke appears not to be fully informed of his rights. He also appears to be in the dark about his possible mental health care needs – now and in the future — resulting from the severe anti-gay persecution he has been forced to endure. I asked whether the school had offered him access to a psychologist’s professional attentions. What adequately-informed, responsible adult, hearing Luke’s story would not think he might need a psychologist at this time and/or later, as a result of what has been inflicted on him? The school offered no such services to Luke, and his ACLU attorneys have done nothing, nothing at all, to see that he will have means to pay for his current and future mental health care needs.

The terms of the agreement are in many other ways inadequate. The school, for instance, does not have specific LGBT-related wording in its anti-bullying policies. The School Board would have to approve such wording. The ACLU, as happened, settled for the district “recommending” to the School Board the adding of protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the Student Code of Conduct and the school district’s bullying and harassment policy. There is no guarantee that the Board will add those protections. And, should it decide not to add them, no penalty will be imposed on it.

[...] Had there been any actual legal case involved, a client might be talking with another attorney about bringing a legal malpractice case against the ACLU. The ACLU certainly did not get involved in Luke’s case, solely to use him as a poster boy to attract donations afterwards. However, it is able to use Luke’s case to attract donations for itself, while Luke will remain entirely uncompensated. With so unsatisfactory an outcome to the negotiations, further investigations into all aspects of relations between the parties is merited.

 

It’s hard to fault an organization like the ACLU, which stepped in on Luke’s behalf (after being contacted by his mother). Without this group’s services, Luke might still be just another unreported statistic of anti-gay bullying. But as Rose notes in his reporting, the agreement the ACLU reached for him does seem … suspect. The people responsible for tormenting Luke are no worse for the wear. Luke, meanwhile, isn’t even back in a regular classroom setting: he’s learning at home. And when (or if) he does return to his school in the fall, the student accused of so brutally bullying him will be roaming the halls, unrestricted. The ACLU “has reached an agreement in Luke’s case that leaves his persecutors unpunished, the schools unsafe and the victim uncompensated,” writes Rose. “By cooperating with Flagler Schools and keeping very tight control over its messaging, the ACLU has wrapped this matter up promptly and is able to use Luke as a poster boy to attract donations, declaring victory where there isn’t one.”

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Apr 1, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 45 Comments
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      Poor guy, must totally suck having to deal with all that, even worse that its in the States, supposed land of the…I dunno something or another. My best advice for him would be move to Canada…The sooner the better

      Apr 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessica Naomi
      Jessica Naomi

      Actually the ACLU failed Luke. The gay basher is still in the school and Luke was kicked out. He now has to figure out 9th grade all by himself in front of a computer in his room, without tutors or any other resources. He was already failing in school because of the gay bashing. ACLU made a dirty deal with the school. Read the rest of Scott Rose’s reporting and check http://www.facebook.com/SupportLukeHerbert where you can also talk to Luke. If you were gay bashed and then kicked out of school because that’s the deal the ACLU made, would you think they helped you?

      Apr 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      Why in the hell has this school not been sued? Because, pretty words and handshake deals aren’t going to change the culture of homophobia that is clearly rampant and entrenched there. It’s a real eye opener that even with schools across the country taking heed to the gay bullying and bullying in general issue, that this school is doing absolutely nothing, intentionally. ACLU looks really awful here for not stepping up to the plate and I expect immediate action from them or there will be hell to pay.

      My thoughts go out to Luke for what he’s going through. No kid should have to go through such despicable actions.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tina T.
      Tina T.

      Yeah, because the ACLU is always so hesitant to file lawsuits against schools. So there couldn’t POSSIBLY be some other explanation.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      This kid should call Lambda Legal. They got the first money out of a school district for this, in Minnesotta, and the schools had to have gay friendly policies implemented. The legendary gay trial lawyer David E. Springer took on this landmark case pro bono. His brilliance on this case should give hope for kids everywhere. Lambda Legal can match kids up with help in their areas.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DAWSON
      DAWSON

      So who got punished? He is being home schooled and the bully gets to roam the school like a hero. Based on the students at this school why would anyone want to go back there? He has no friend because a real friend wouldn’t care what others think. So my advise for him is like Kurt in Glee, go somewhere else where the students respect you. (sorry for the Glee analogy).

      This kid is only a 9th grader and had to deal with things that most of us never had to. What I would do is take some self defense classes and work out.(Karate Kid) Bullys are not going to mess with you if you if they know you will beat the Sh*T out of them. Don’t allow them to make you a victim. Some people in our community hate violence by I believe you have to fight back both mentally and physically. If someone pushes you than push them back harder. Whether politically, mentally or physically.

      Find some new friends. There are a lot of people in the community who will stand with you but you will always be a victim unless you let them know you won’t be bullied. There is a whole community out there waiting to support you. FIGHT BACK. We got your back. Let us know when. I hate bullys.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      Mr. Rose should know that People who comment on the outcome of legal actions when they don’t know all the facts usually look pretty stupid. Maybe the young man and his family just wanted it to be over. Maybe under Florida law you can’t get much out of a school board. Maybe they didn’t have a shrink to testify he had lots of emotional damage. Maybe they didn’t want to try the case in Flagler County, which is as progressive as rural Alabama.

      We don’t know enough to have an opinion about the outcome.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      @JusticeOnTheRocks – The young man and his family do *not* “just want it to be over;* which isn’t to say that they don’t want justice done ASAP. Please note that Luke Herbert himself is keen on making his story known, so it serves as a wake-up call to school districts throughout the country, that this kind of thing must not happen, ever. He is extremely brave, and our community should be very thankful to him for his bravery. We should demand maximum available justice for him. I suggest you go Google (Florida School Sue) and then start looking through the 16 million results. I think, furthermore, that you should know, People who don’t realize that one lawyer can look at a situation and say “There’s no case here,” while meantime, another lawyer can look at the same situation, take on the case, and win it . . . *are* — not look — *are* — pretty stupid. Additionally, even without a lawsuit, the ACLU certainly has enough muscle and resources nationwide that it could have put more pressure on Flagler Schools than it did, Alabama-like or no though the County may be. Luke told me personally that he wanted his story known nationally – and then the ACLU told me “We aren’t looking to make this story national,” — (and then tried to block me from interviewing him) — these facts are included in my reports — so I’d say the ACLU is not respecting or responding to its clients wishes in this matter. Funny, that the ACLU says it defends free speech, but tries to block one of its clients, for whom it is not even bringing a law suit, from talking to the media. You might additionally consider, that had I not investigated this story, it would already have been swept under the carpet and forgotten, and Luke would not be receiving the international support he currently enjoys as a result of my work.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      PS – Is “JUSTICEONTHEROCKS” the handle of a person who frequently comments on Queerty? I ask, because the Flagler County Schools in-house attorney is running scared – has lied to me about U.S. law, attempting to throw me off the sent – and – has in other places appeared possibly to be trying to influence public opinion away from believing any case at all is possible here, or that anything more needs to be done. “This matter is concluded,” she just absolutely loves to say.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Scott Rose: Whoa cowboy. Before you hurt your shoulder patting yourself on the back, remember that all your criticism of the ACLU is based on what one party in a controversy said. There are a lot of reasons people don’t want to go to trial: the time and cost involved, interference with your normal life, the possibility of losing, impact on the family inthe community, and many others. The lawyers considered all these factors, discussed the options with the family, and agreed on what seemed best at the time. That’s the way it works in the litigation business. Sorry if that cuts you off from what you think is a juicy story, but that’s the way it goes.

      I wish the young man well. The next few months will not be easy. Maybe they are best spent out of the spotlight.

      As for you, I hope that you will think long and hard before criticizing a person’s professional advisors and that next time you’ll bother to get a more thorough knowledge of the facts before you do so.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      @Justiceontherocks — (What have you done to help in this situation?) You said “The lawyers considered all these factors, discussed the options with the family, and agreed on what seemed best at the time.” How do you know that? Who are you? Are you with the ACLU of Florida, propagandizing? Please make no more comments, unless you are willing to use as a handle your true, verifiable name. Your integrity in that will be appreciated. Thanks. As a reminder now; no more comments, please, under the handle “Justiceontherocks.”

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      One other point for Queerty readers to consider; this is how the ACLU tends to operate, when it intervenes on behalf of a gay student severely abused in a public school. The bully and/or bullies stay in the school – their victim is in essence removed, i.e. punished. The school environment does *not* become safer for the remaining gay students in it. When that is the result, as it most often is, the ACLU, by not having taken a tougher stance, has enabled the school to perpetuate an environment hostile to gay students.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessica Naomi
      Jessica Naomi

      Scott Rose and I are in touch with Luke & his mother, and Luke wants his story told nationally but the ACLU of Florida stopped him. Luke wants justice for himself and he wants to help kids nationwide who are going through what he is going through. Ask him yourself at http://www.facebook.com/SupportLukeHerbert

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessica Naomi
      Jessica Naomi

      How does Justiceontherocks know so much about the case? If this is Luke’s ACLU attorney, is their client lawyer privilege being breached here? Maybe you forgot to ask Luke if he wanted to be sent home to sit by himself isolated from his peers, to figure out his schoolwork without tutors or any assistance from the school at all. Maybe you forgot to ask him if he did not want the gay basher to be charged with a hate crime. Does the ACLU charge their clients now? If you know so much, what’s the name of the gay basher or is that part of the deal too?

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      Let’s all give that kid a big (metaphorical) hug.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jperon
      Jperon

      I don’t understand why the ACLU is allegedly at fault. Perhaps we need to get rid of the government’s virtual monopoly on education. Give all students vouchers equal to the cost of a public education which can be used at the school of their choice. Then those of us concerned about gay kids can create accepting schools with rational, reasonable, policies and courses. Depoliticizing schools is a step forward, put the control in the hands of parents instead of teacher’s unions and politicians, neither of whom give a damn about the kids, only about their salaries and getting elected.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      IDK why the school hasn’t been sued for a MASSIVE amount of money, but they should be. And it angers me to no end that Luke is being home schooled while the bully is still in public school. That sends the message that what he and that teacher did is acceptable, and that if you bully the queer kids enough they’ll run off and you don’t have to look at them anymore. Real bad way to get rid of the prejudice. The teacher should have been fired and the bully should have been expelled and the school and the school district should have been sued.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tombaxter
      tombaxter

      Seems like there is a lot of hot air and few facts. Are Luke and his family satisfied? Nothing I see here says they aren’t. Has Luke complained? If so, what are the complaints? Clients always have the last word. They have to sign off before it’s over. As was said, there are other lawyers, i.e., Lamba that could have taken the case.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      He sounds like a self promotor looking for a reality show….seriously

      Apr 3, 2011 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Jessica Naomi: Look, clown. I have no affiliation with the ACLU or the state of Florida. And I have no idea whether this resolution is fair or not. Neither do you. It’s obvious you and Mr. Rose lack the maturity and the knowledge of the legal system to make that call. So, like the internet bullies you are, you spread misinformation.

      I know you think you have the next Erin Brokovich here. Maybe you do honestly give a damn about the kid. But from everything I’ve read it seems like you want attention for yourselves.

      As for the paranoid Scott who is concerned about a screen name I’ve been using for two years and often on this blog, I wonder if you have any idea how much like a birther you seem.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      I asked you to comment under your verifiable real name, and you did not. Others should stay tuned for further developments in this story. The ACLU attorney told somebody involved that my reporting has “caused chaos” in the ACLU of Florida. If there were nothing at all to anything I’ve reported, the ACLU wouldn’t think twice about it. Readers also should be careful to note that I am not making a blanket condemnation of the ACLU. The complaint is specifically about how the ACLU of Florida handles this matter. The organization for example did not even obtain from the school a binding commitment to follow all of the anti-bullying policies described in the Florida “model anti-bullying policy” here:
      http://www.fldoe.org/safeschools/doc/modelpolicy.doc

      Apr 3, 2011 at 11:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Scott Rose: scotty – you don’t make the rules on this blog. Anonymous posting is allowed.

      You’re not H.L. Mencken covering the Scopes trial. YouKre a guy with an uninformed opinion who insists on sharing it with everyone. Get over yourself.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      What exactly are you doing to improve conditions for oppressed gay people in backwards areas of the United States?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      I’m finding interesting that the ACLU is so polarizing a topic. Very few people view it objectively. On the one side are those who support it blindly, on the other, those who blindly revile it. BP does good work providing societies with energy, but this doesn’t mean it is beyond all criticism for what happened at Deepwater Horizon. Joe Barton apologized to BP for Obama’s having established a compensation fund for victims. Now, others just as ludicrous seem to think no critical eye should be cast on the ACLU’s handling of Luke Herbert’s case.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Scott Rose: This isn’t about me. It’s about you making reckless accusations. There are only two reasons you’d do that: 1) You know nothing about the trial process and the dollar value of cases like this; 2) For you, this isn’t about Luke at all. It’s about you.

      The sad thing is you may be right. Maybe Luke didn’t get a great deal. What were his out of pocket expenses? Where is the testimony from his therapist about future needs? What would a jury lOok like? What’s the history of awards in similar cases in similar areas? How credible is everyone’s testimony? The list of relevant factors is very long and your written hissy fits don’t address any of them.

      Thread over.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      I ask other readers to ask themselves, what has the commenter identified as justiceontherocks done to help Luke Herbert or any other gay American teen in a similar situation?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @Scott Rose: justiceontherocks is a regular Queerty commenter who offers intelligent, well thought out opinions on a variety of subjects. He uses that name all the time. IDK why you think he is misrepresenting himself, but I assure you he is not.

      However, I do want to ask this: just who the fuck are you?

      Apr 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      Please consider going to the “I Support Luke Herbert” page at the link below, and clicking “Like” on the page, to show solidarity with Luke Herbert. You can leave a message of support for him there too. “Hang in there!” “It gets better!” “We’re with you!” that kind of thing.
      http://www.facebook.com/#!/SupportLukeHerbert

      Apr 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Scott Rose: Whom did you speak with at ACLU Florida? If you publish their contact information, I am certain several of us here would contact them to indicate our disappointment at the outcome of this case. It would be helpful to get their perspective. As said, it’s clear that Luke’s current educational situation is still subpar, and his options for next year look no better.

      Since the Herbert family has given you permission to speak and write about the case, I am hopeful they would have ACLU Florida discuss it as well, if that is legally and ethically possible.

      You do need to realize that this more of a celebrity/culture blog than a political/ activism blog, so if you haven’t got the hero’s welcome you were expecting here, consider the source. Please don’t confuse this with PHB or Bilerico.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      Although I did not make the decision to post this story on Queerty, I did write for this site at its inception, so am aware of its blend of coverage. Anybody who had bothered to read my articles would know with whom I had spoken at the ACLU of Florida. I now repeat this:
      Please consider going to the “I Support Luke Herbert” page at the link below, and clicking “Like” on the page, to show solidarity with Luke Herbert. You can leave a message of support for him there too. “Hang in there!” “It gets better!” “We’re with you!” that kind of thing.
      http://www.facebook.com/#!/SupportLukeHerbert

      Apr 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Have to agree with the other commenters… Scott Rose, you are not helping your case with your comments here. Asking someone to comment using his/her real name is pointless and preposterous. Asking what a commenter has done to improve the lives of gay youth is utterly irrelevant to the factual points being discussed.

      This story does indeed raise legitimate concerns about the ACLU; however, it’s hard to take those concerns seriously because you’ve obliterated your credibility with your comments.

      I hope other news organizations will investigate this issue further because it sounds like Herbert probably did get a raw deal.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      My point in wanting to know with whom I am communicating is to know with whom I am communicating. I was first motivated to investigate and report on the Luke Herbert story by brief initial reports that made plain justice was not being done for him. My investigations overall are much wider in scope that just what the ACLU of Florida did in its intervention. As regards the ACLU of Florida, specifically, nowhere did I state that the only way it could improve its advocacy for Luke Herbert would be to bring a civil action against Luke’s stalker and attacker, Floyd Binkley and the Flagler County Schools. However, I have opened that up for examination by outsiders. I have been in contact with people at major news venues about this story. And, I have been persistent about pursuing bringing the story to the attention of society nationwide. A Time magazine staffer told me that, “unfair as it is, it’s hard to report this kind of thing in a national publication,” the implication being that the gay-angle turns straight editors and their readers off. Then, a senior editor at New York magazine told me that as important as the story is, it’s a tough sell, because it is a “Dog Bites Man” type of thing; he said what’s happening to Luke is not new or even unusual. However, somebody at a third major venue was interested and will be publishing their article about Luke Herbert and Flagler very shortly. You’ll understand, I can’t reveal who, prior to publication. I don’t see that any of my critics here have yet gone to the FB support page for Luke Herbert, to tell him they support him. Trust me that I am beyond accustomed to having some people love something I’ve written, and others hating it, and still others being luke-warm to it. That just comes with the territory.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Scott Rose: Your response to my query reveals that your ego is getting in the way of your objectivity. Classic rookie mistake. J-school failed you.

      This story, in more competent hands, could have generated greater buzz. Your social gaffes, however, cause the focus to switch to you from Luke. You’ve pïssed away potential allies. And let Luke down.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      @Jeffree: I don’t see where I made any personal attack on you. The question you posed, with whom did I speak at the ACLU of Florida, can be answered by reading my articles published on this subject. I referred you to them and don’t know what other response you would want from me to your question. If we are to discuss the content of my articles, I would require you to have read them. I don’t know whether you use the name “Jeffree” everywhere online, but do notice that nobody by that name has left a message of support for Luke Herbert on the I Support Luke Herbert Facebook page:
      http://www.facebook.com/#!/SupportLukeHerbert

      All journalists must at some time deal with hecklers, alas.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Scott Rose: he asked you for a name. You didn’t give him one. So you didn’t answer the question.

      Your arrogance is amazing. It seems to us that you’re not so much a journalist as a publicity seeker with an agenda. Anyone, like you, who knows zero about law and legal processes, yet lobs handgrenades like “malpractice” has lost the right to be taken seriously. Therefore reading your “articles” is just not going to happen.

      You’re not helping Luke. Do him a favor and find another cause.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      The malpractice quote, in context, in my article makes clear that I meant this was advocacy malpractice, not legal malpractice.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      Interested parties may find the series of articles about Luke Herbert at the following links:

      1) Gay Teen FL Harassed By Teacher, Tortured By Students, Denied Justice
      March 24, 2011
      http://www.politicususa.com/en/gay-teen-denied-justice

      2)
      In Place of Justice the ACLU Offers Luke Herbert A Band-Aid
      March 27, 2011
      By Scott Rose
      http://www.politicususa.com/en/aclu-luke-herbert

      2A) At this next link, Florida’s model anti-bullying policy. Had Flagler Schools followed this model anti-bullying policy to the letter, Luke Herbert would never have been victimized as he was in Flagler Schools:
      http://www.fldoe.org/safeschools/doc/modelpolicy.doc

      3)
      Why Is Luke Herbert’s Stalker And Attacker Still At That School?
      April 1, 2011
      By Scott Rose
      http://www.politicususa.com/en/luke-herbert-stalker-school

      4)
      Please consider going to the page at the link below, and clicking “Like” on the page, to show solidarity with Luke Herbert, a discriminated gay teen in Florida in need of moral support. You can leave a message of support for him there too. “Hang in there!” “It gets better!” “We’re with you!” that kind of thing.
      The “I SUPPORT LUKE HERBERT” FACEBOOK PAGE
      http://www.facebook.com/#!/SupportLukeHerbert

      Apr 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Scott Rose: I have chosen to support Luke in a forum unaffiliated with you. Perhaps next time you attempt to draw attention to a noble cause, you’ll avoid a neophyte’s zealotry to gain attention to yourself. By doing that, you’ll create more sympathy toward your subject and less antipathy toward you and your ego.

      Apr 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      Thank heaven for queeny trolls.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Scott Rose: that description of yourself may be the first accurate thing you’ve written.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      Luke Herbert has made a video, which may be viewed here:

      Apr 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      The award-winning journalist Bennet Kelley has published an article about Luke Herbert:
      http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Bennet%20Kelley/47

      Apr 10, 2011 at 2:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      In its press release about its advocacy for Luke Herbert against Flagler Schools, the ACLU claimed it was getting the school to include sexual orientation as a protected class in its Code of Student Conduct, as well as in its anti-bullying policy.

      Investigations reveal, however, that sexual-orientation protections were *already* written into those documents, and as early as 2009.

      For what reason did the ACLU claim a victory, in getting that language included in the documents, when that language had long since *already* been in the documents?

      Is that competent advocacy?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Rose
      Scott Rose

      UPDATE: The ACLU of Florida sent Luke Herbert and his mother a letter of ultimatum; although the ACLU was not filing a law suit against the school, Herbert and his mother had to stop talking to the media, or the ACLU would abandon them. The ACLU had allowed Flagler Schools to hold Luke’s “truancy” record against him, even though the reason he stayed out of school so many times was that he was afraid to go there because of all the anti-gay bullying and violence. The ACLU’s ultimatum letter implies that if Luke stops talking to the media, the ACLU will help him with the “truancy” matter. The letter also implies that if Luke decided to continue talking to the media, and therefore lost the ACLU’s support, Flagler Schools would see him prosecuted for truancy, and he’d have nobody to protect him against that. Luke was brave and refused the ACLU’s ultimatum. Several attorneys specialized in school bullying cases have expressed strong interest in representing Luke against the Flagler Schools.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ashleigh Norman
      Ashleigh Norman

      Dear Luke; You are my BESTFRIEND and i love you more than anything im so proud of you for getting your story out and doing something about this. I love you soooo soooo much. And agin im so proud of you.
      I love you lots.
      StayStrong&Always<3
      Love, Ashleigh

      Jun 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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