Two weeks ago, Karlton Johnson the Principal of Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida spotted two students holding hands, and he jumped in his Princemobile (a golf cart) to chase them down, separate them, and then call their parents to gossip about them. Yeesh. If ever there was a situation that called for an It Gets Better video, this is it.
After the principal essentially outed one of the girls to her parent and also threatened them with suspension, the girls rightly complained to Superintendent Sharon Airaghi. But now the Airaghi has responded, and she doesn’t see anything wrong with what happened.
“It is my understanding that the holding of hands on campus is not an acceptable practice at Blanche Ely High School. This practice is applicable to all students, regardless of age, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religious sects, as indentified in School Board’s Nondiscrimination Policy,” writes Airaghi.
Oh, when it’s about harassing lesbians, suddenly they’re all about including LGBTs in the nondiscrimination policy!
Of course, according to the kids, it’s only LGBTs that get targeted in this way. Straight kids, they say, aren’t separated. And we’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that parents aren’t called when an opposite-sex couple is caught holding hands.
Because if we were parents and the school called us to tell us that they spied our 16-year-old touching the hand of another 16-year-old, our response would be, “what the hell is wrong with you? Aren’t you supposed to be teaching them algebra right now? Get off the phone and stop bothering everyone. Another stunt like this and I’m taking away your golf cart.”