Florida’s Supreme Court wasn’t feeling very friendly yesterday. Five of the state’s seven justices ruled not to review Jeffrey Woodard’s discrimination lawsuit against his former school, Jupiter Christian School.
The drama started back in 2003, when Woodard came out to the school chaplain. Rather than keeping Woodard’s secret, the pastor blabbed to the Academy’s authorities, who booted Woodward. Woodard and his mother promptly filed a lawsuit, which has worked its way up the system over the past four years.
The school’s lawyers claim that not only did the non-ordained chaplain not have a confidential obligation, but the court can’t enforce pious gag orders. Such a ruling would breach the wall between church and state. That may have motivated the Supreme Court’s decision today, although they refuse to say exactly why they won’t hear Willard’s case.
Justice Barbara Pariente – one of the two dissenters – criticized her colleagues apathy:
The emotional distress Woodard allegedly suffered as a result of the school chaplain’s breach of confidentiality is at least equal to that typically suffered by the victim of a defamation or an invasion of privacy.
A school lawyer described the suit as “frivolous”.
I feel bad for this kid, but if his mother had wanted him to have any sort of protections she should have enrolled him in a public school, not a private Christian one. No smart attorney would ever have even tried a lawsuit like this.
This is what happens when you involve yourself in religion. All is good as long as you conform and obey every word they say. The minute you step out of line you’re a traitor and they must get rid of you. It’s a pity there’s such hatred in an environment that is supposed to be welcoming and supportive.
hells kitchen guy
Agree with Chris. why the hell would the mother – or Jeffrey – want to stay in a fundamentalist Christian school after he came out? His life would have been hell in any event. Stupid, unnecessary lawsuit.
Daddy's Submissive Boi
The issue isn’t staying in school or not…it’s the incredibly crazy situation where someone in a position of power was trusted with a confidence and that confidence was betrayed. And the consequence of that betrayal is far worse that just getting booted from school. Whoever that so-called chaplain is should be defrocked, fired, debarred, whatever and however the punishment could be so as to set an example of what happens when power abuses trust.
I agree, he should have left school after he was outed. But I have to say the school may have won the battle but lost the war. This whole affair was pretty “unchristian” by their supposed standards I’d say. You can’t confide in the Chaplain? Christ!
Nothing says ‘Jesus loves you’ like institutionalized homophobia.
I spent the last two years as a very confused lesbian in a private Christian school. If I were less resentful, I’d say the kid has my prayers. He certainly does have my sympathy (even if he’s lucky to get out of that shithole).
I can’t help but notice that when a gay kid in a Christian school gets outed, any argument is frivolous, but if it’s a Republican senator, his right to privacy ought to be respected. What gives, fundies?
hells kitchen guy
Have to disagree. By the chaplain’s (totally fucked up) viewpoint, a perverted, preying homo with the innocent lambs would have been a terrible threat, worse than a gunman or bomb. By his wacked-out standards, he HAD to inform the administration to “protect” the other students.
As I said, it’s their school, their rules …
JUPITER Christian School? Do they even realize they named their school after a Roman god? Is there a Zeus Christian daycare in that town?
ha ha ha Sarh classic !!!!!!!!!
Jupiter is the name of the town.
Why was the Priest breaking a code he would reserve for other people? It’s basic decency to listen and keep a secret but may not have been a confession, so, gray area.
Still, the guy’s probably better of out of such a moronic place.
hells kitchen guy
lalaland: Protestant, not Catholic, priest. No “confession” with attendant promise of secrecy, involved. You’re right: the kid should have just gotten the hell out of that hellhole.
it’s a christian school and he “chose” to go there..he’s only a mantart after the money….
Jupiter Christian School is not a fundamentalist Christian school – it’s non-denominational. Our son attended this school since he was a freshman. He had many friends and teachers that liked him. The thought of him leaving school never entered my mind. My husband and I found out that he was gay about 2 weeks before school started.
Since he was expelled, I have been able to meet many many religious LGBT people, and I think it’s sad that a small nasty little group thinks God belongs to just them.
One last thing – in response to stupid, unnecessary lawsuit. He was expelled from a school – he had to tell his family why he was expelled. Our son told the chaplain in this “confidential” conversation his fears of family members finding out he was gay. There’s so much more to this than people know.
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