Town Backs Anti-Gay Principal

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.

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  • nikko

    Christian, meet lion.

  • Darth Paul

    Florida makes me stabby.

  • Disgusted American

    I will NO longer go to Florida….esp. with this Ammendment coming up in Nov….They’ll never see my Tourism dollars again!

  • ChicagoJimmy

    These people talk about their community and “christian values” but isn’t Heather Gillman a member of their community?

  • GranDiva

    See, there’s a part of Florida that needs to be awarded to Alabama…

  • REBELComx

    Sorry for the double comment but…
    “Many in the community support Davis and feel outsiders are forcing their beliefs on them”?
    OMG I had to reread that one…a Conservative Christian feels like someone is pushing their idealogy on them??? How ironic.
    Operation Tables Turned: Completed.


    They don’t have to look to outsiders for examples of a group of people “forcing their beliefs” onto others, the bigots in Holmes County Florida just need to look in the mirror to themselves and then to Heather Gillman and the other gay students that they witch hunted.

  • Vince B.

    “Not out to tar and feather anyone”? Just a teenage kid, along with her friends, that’s all. What year do they think this is? Some people are going kicking and screaming into the 21ST century. I’m from New Jersey by way of Washington, DC and can’t believe what I see in this state sometimes. Heather Gillman should be awarded a scholarship to the university of her choice for all she’s been subjected to. More power to the mom who initially blew the whistle and phoned the ACLU. Sorry GranDiva, but there are plenty of lgbt’s in ‘Bama too. This kind of insanity has to end everywhere.

  • Turyn

    I’m involved with the ACLU of Northwest Florida and had the pleasure of meeting Heather Gillman when she came with the NW FL ACLU to attend the National ACLU Conference this past June. She really is an amazing individual, and it blows my mind that the people there still think that what they did was acceptable in any regard.

  • Faith

    Not enough Christian lions, either. The religious right is never, ever going to be convinced by arguments about freedom, rights, equality, or love anymore than they are by arguments about a woman’s right to her own body (and their disbelief about that is now being hideously extended to those daddy-daughter purity balls). Gay rights activists might get the laws changed, and they might get friendlier official policies on the school board books, but religious rights are going to keep yammering about Sodom and Gomorrah until religious LEFTS stand up and take them head on. The news and media have GOT to stop taking “well, they’re Christian” as a REASON for their homophobic bigotry.

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