It’s been a while since we checked in with David Davis, the Floridian principal who last year told a lesbian student that homosexuality’s morally wrong, prohibited her from wearing gay pride garb and then went on a “witch hunt” for gay students.
The ACLU and the student, Heather Gillman, have since successfully sued Davis. The educator found himself demoted, Ponce de Leon High School faculty must now take sensitivity training and the school must pay Gillman’s $325,000 legal bills.
While one would think all this would teach the town a lesson, it has not…
…Many in this conservative Panhandle community still wonder what, exactly, Davis did wrong.
“We are a small, rural district in the Bible Belt with strong Christian beliefs and feel like homosexuality is wrong,” said Steve Griffin, Holmes County’s school superintendent, who keeps a Bible on his desk and framed Scriptures on his office walls.
Many in the community support Davis and feel outsiders are forcing their beliefs on them. Griffin, who kicked Davis out of the principal’s office but allowed him to continue teaching at the school, said high schoolers here aren’t exposed to the same things as kids in Atlanta or Chicago.
“I don’t think we are that different from a lot of districts, at least in the Panhandle, that have beliefs that maybe are different from societal changes,” Griffin said.
Another resident also lauded Davis, “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.” Apparently that’s not so true.
She hasn’t been tarred, nor has she been feathered, but Gillman say she’s been ostracized by the community. And we use that word – “community” – very loosely.