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Lesbian Kid Suspended For Standing Up to Anti-Gay Bullying Sues

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A Florida high school student is alleging school officials violated her rights when they banned her from participating in an anti-bullying observance and then suspended her from school.

In April of last year, DeSoto County school student Amber Hatcher, then 15, was making plans to participate in the National Day of Silence. The event is a student-led day sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that encourages students across the country to remain silent in order to call attention to the silencing effect anti-LGBT bullying — and, indeed, all bullying — has on kids.

Hatcher claims she asked for permission from her principal, Mrs. Shannon Fusco, nearly a month in advance of the event. She also provided information from GLSEN and Lambda Legal about students’ rights to participate in such actions per First Amendment protections, and the limits to those rights (you do not have a right to remain silent while in class, for instance, and this is why discussing the event with faculty members is advised before the day itself).

Hatcher asserts that Principal Fusco then threatened her with what the suit terms “ramifications” if she attempted to observe the Day of Silence.

Hatcher went over Fusco’s head to appeal to the DeSoto County School Superintendent, Adrian Cline. The superintendent repeatedly refused to meet with Hatcher. He then allegedly directed Principal Fusco to tell Hatcher her request was “disapproved” [sic] because, he claimed, allowing student participation in the Day of Silence was not allowed — this despite Hatcher having offered evidence that legal precedent was clearly on her side.

Principal Fusco is then said to have repeatedly told Hatcher that she would be barred from participating in the event, and that there “would be consequences” should she make an attempt to observe the Day of Silence. The suit even alleges that Fusco called Hatcher’s parents and suggested Hatcher be kept home from school on that day.

In due course, Lambda Legal got involved and on April 19, 2012, the suit details that Lambda Legal sent a letter to both the principal and superintendent in which it outlined the legal grounds that make it clear Hatcher, and indeed any student, has a right to observe the Day of Silence. The letter also warned that barring Hatcher from participating could be grounds for a lawsuit.

The suit claims the letter was ignored.

On April 20, 2012, the National Day of Silence, Amber came to school wearing a red T-shirt with the message “DOS April 20, 2012: Shhhhh.” As is standard on the Day of Silence, she communicated by dry-erase board with peers and teachers. She was soon called into the dean’s office, whereby she was informed she had been suspended from school for the day.

In the lawsuit, Hatcher v. DeSoto County Board of Education, et al. filed on February 23 against DeSoto County Board of Education, Lambda Legal argues the high school violated Hatcher’s First Amendment rights.

The suit requests a court order to ensure that Hatcher and other DeSoto County High School students are able to observe this year’s Day of Silence on April 19, 2013, without interference.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Beth Littrell is quoted as saying, “Amber was respectfully and peacefully calling attention to a real problem: LGBT students at DeSoto County High School feel unwelcome and unsafe. The school should be working to help support LGBT students rather than punishing students who are standing up against bullying. By threatening, censoring and punishing Amber for her efforts to simply raise awareness, school officials disregarded her rights as well as the Constitution.”

The school is yet to comment on the suit.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/lesbian-kid-suspended-for-standing-up-to-anti-gay-bullying-sues.html#ixzz2MPgLAV73



by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Replies (81-87):
TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

 I see that rational discourse about issues is not your strong point. 

Feel free to disregard my posts (or block me, or whatever this site allows). 


Quoting HeathersForever:

Yep this is the second response I have seen from you that shouts bigotry and hatred in one day. You should be proud of yourself. I bet I could find plenty more if I went looking, what shall your prize be?

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 



 

HeathersForever
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

So I assume if I wore a T-Shirt to school (assuming I were still in HS) that said "Jesus is a lie. God is dead." Or something like that, well that would be totally fine. (BTW does not reflect my actual views just an example)

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No.  It is irrational to be upset because someone is wearing a T shirt you don't like.  It is not irrational for a teacher to expect all students to participate fully in class. 


Quoting HeathersForever:

That doesn't exist with T-Shirts except for the kids who are horribly offended and disgusted by the T-Shirt. So if someone wore a shirt, and I was in HS and I was furious throughout all of class because someone's shirt offended me wouldn't that be a distraction? I can tell you a girl at my HS thought she was being cute when her, and her friends all wore homemade T-Shirts one day that stated the names of students who dropped out of high school, and said "Where Is..." and blank's first and last name.

One had the name of a girl who I had used to be friend's with who got pregnant, and was homeschooling since she had a baby. I did not appreciate them making fun of her when she was not there, it distracted me because I was angry, I told my teacher my anger would disrupt class...uh oh...she had to turn her shirt inside out.

So your point is pretty much invalid.

Quoting TranquilMind:


Well, if they will participate in class and no special arrangements need to be made for them, fine.  It was my understanding that they were refusing to speak when called on at school, which is why attorneys were offering to represent them. 

A dry erase board isn't speaking. If there is a presentation due, then the kid needs to do it. On a normal day, speaking may not happen anyway, so no problem.

It's the disruption or potential disruption that is problematic.  That doesn't exist with T shirts. 

Quoting NewMom11222011:

She did respond, in writing, on a dry erase board.  A mute child or one with laryngitis could use a dry erase board to communicate, too.  They kids are allowed to speak in class if called upon.  No disruption.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No, of course not.  The kid wearing a shirt  - either rainbow or no-rainbow - is still fully participating in school.  The kid who will not speak cannot be called on, and that is a disruption to expect the teachers to rearrange their days depending on if or who is protesting today.

Not the same issue at all.


Quoting NewMom11222011:

I see a correlation between her silence/protest and that of the kid in another thread who wore a t-shirt with a rainbow with a slash through it to his own school's April 20th tolerance day and I seem to recall you were in favor of it.  Isn't that a protest, albeit silent, too?  This girl's protest seems quite within the realm of the same first amendment rights you championed in the t-shirt case.

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 











HeathersForever
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM
1 mom liked this

Umm they don't allow blocking so I will have to read your bigoted comments when I come across them, and if I feel the need to respond thank you I will.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 I see that rational discourse about issues is not your strong point. 

Feel free to disregard my posts (or block me, or whatever this site allows). 


Quoting HeathersForever:

Yep this is the second response I have seen from you that shouts bigotry and hatred in one day. You should be proud of yourself. I bet I could find plenty more if I went looking, what shall your prize be?

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 





TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

 That's unfortunate.  It means I will have to read your bigoted comments as well.

You needn't respond though.

 

 

Quoting HeathersForever:

Umm they don't allow blocking so I will have to read your bigoted comments when I come across them, and if I feel the need to respond thank you I will.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 I see that rational discourse about issues is not your strong point. 

Feel free to disregard my posts (or block me, or whatever this site allows). 

 

Quoting HeathersForever:

Yep this is the second response I have seen from you that shouts bigotry and hatred in one day. You should be proud of yourself. I bet I could find plenty more if I went looking, what shall your prize be?

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 


 

 


 

 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:19 PM

 Of course. 

It would not bother me any.  I know what I know.

It would be the same impact on me as if you wore a T-shirt that said, "I am married to TranquilMind's husband."  Lol.  I know better and your opinion contrary to fact,reason and truth is irrelevant, not only to me, but to everyone who knows better.  I'd get a good laugh out of it actually.

 

Quoting HeathersForever:

So I assume if I wore a T-Shirt to school (assuming I were still in HS) that said "Jesus is a lie. God is dead." Or something like that, well that would be totally fine. (BTW does not reflect my actual views just an example)

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No.  It is irrational to be upset because someone is wearing a T shirt you don't like.  It is not irrational for a teacher to expect all students to participate fully in class. 

 

Quoting HeathersForever:

That doesn't exist with T-Shirts except for the kids who are horribly offended and disgusted by the T-Shirt. So if someone wore a shirt, and I was in HS and I was furious throughout all of class because someone's shirt offended me wouldn't that be a distraction? I can tell you a girl at my HS thought she was being cute when her, and her friends all wore homemade T-Shirts one day that stated the names of students who dropped out of high school, and said "Where Is..." and blank's first and last name.

One had the name of a girl who I had used to be friend's with who got pregnant, and was homeschooling since she had a baby. I did not appreciate them making fun of her when she was not there, it distracted me because I was angry, I told my teacher my anger would disrupt class...uh oh...she had to turn her shirt inside out.

So your point is pretty much invalid.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 

Well, if they will participate in class and no special arrangements need to be made for them, fine.  It was my understanding that they were refusing to speak when called on at school, which is why attorneys were offering to represent them. 

A dry erase board isn't speaking. If there is a presentation due, then the kid needs to do it. On a normal day, speaking may not happen anyway, so no problem.

It's the disruption or potential disruption that is problematic.  That doesn't exist with T shirts. 

Quoting NewMom11222011:

She did respond, in writing, on a dry erase board.  A mute child or one with laryngitis could use a dry erase board to communicate, too.  They kids are allowed to speak in class if called upon.  No disruption.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No, of course not.  The kid wearing a shirt  - either rainbow or no-rainbow - is still fully participating in school.  The kid who will not speak cannot be called on, and that is a disruption to expect the teachers to rearrange their days depending on if or who is protesting today.

Not the same issue at all.

 

Quoting NewMom11222011:

I see a correlation between her silence/protest and that of the kid in another thread who wore a t-shirt with a rainbow with a slash through it to his own school's April 20th tolerance day and I seem to recall you were in favor of it.  Isn't that a protest, albeit silent, too?  This girl's protest seems quite within the realm of the same first amendment rights you championed in the t-shirt case.

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

HeathersForever
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:25 PM
1 mom liked this

it is disruptive though because there ARE people who would be offended. Just like it would be offensive for that same boy who wore the x through the rainbow to wear a shirt that has an x through a black man, and says he hates African Americans. Hate is hate.

And calling me a bigot is hilarious because you are the one with hatred in your heart. Hating people for their sexual orientation a thing they cannot control. Seriously this is 2013, go back a hundred years or so. I'm so sick of hearing "well you are intolerent for not tolerating my intolerence" that is so fucking stupid. NO you are the intolerent one. Excuse me for fighting for my LGBT brother LITERALLY and my best friend, and everyone else I know and love who is gay and was BORN THAT WAY.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 Of course. 

It would not bother me any.  I know what I know.

It would be the same impact on me as if you wore a T-shirt that said, "I am married to TranquilMind's husband."  Lol.  I know better and your opinion contrary to fact,reason and truth is irrelevant, not only to me, but to everyone who knows better.  I'd get a good laugh out of it actually.


Quoting HeathersForever:

So I assume if I wore a T-Shirt to school (assuming I were still in HS) that said "Jesus is a lie. God is dead." Or something like that, well that would be totally fine. (BTW does not reflect my actual views just an example)

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No.  It is irrational to be upset because someone is wearing a T shirt you don't like.  It is not irrational for a teacher to expect all students to participate fully in class. 


Quoting HeathersForever:

That doesn't exist with T-Shirts except for the kids who are horribly offended and disgusted by the T-Shirt. So if someone wore a shirt, and I was in HS and I was furious throughout all of class because someone's shirt offended me wouldn't that be a distraction? I can tell you a girl at my HS thought she was being cute when her, and her friends all wore homemade T-Shirts one day that stated the names of students who dropped out of high school, and said "Where Is..." and blank's first and last name.

One had the name of a girl who I had used to be friend's with who got pregnant, and was homeschooling since she had a baby. I did not appreciate them making fun of her when she was not there, it distracted me because I was angry, I told my teacher my anger would disrupt class...uh oh...she had to turn her shirt inside out.

So your point is pretty much invalid.

Quoting TranquilMind:


Well, if they will participate in class and no special arrangements need to be made for them, fine.  It was my understanding that they were refusing to speak when called on at school, which is why attorneys were offering to represent them. 

A dry erase board isn't speaking. If there is a presentation due, then the kid needs to do it. On a normal day, speaking may not happen anyway, so no problem.

It's the disruption or potential disruption that is problematic.  That doesn't exist with T shirts. 

Quoting NewMom11222011:

She did respond, in writing, on a dry erase board.  A mute child or one with laryngitis could use a dry erase board to communicate, too.  They kids are allowed to speak in class if called upon.  No disruption.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 No, of course not.  The kid wearing a shirt  - either rainbow or no-rainbow - is still fully participating in school.  The kid who will not speak cannot be called on, and that is a disruption to expect the teachers to rearrange their days depending on if or who is protesting today.

Not the same issue at all.


Quoting NewMom11222011:

I see a correlation between her silence/protest and that of the kid in another thread who wore a t-shirt with a rainbow with a slash through it to his own school's April 20th tolerance day and I seem to recall you were in favor of it.  Isn't that a protest, albeit silent, too?  This girl's protest seems quite within the realm of the same first amendment rights you championed in the t-shirt case.

Quoting TranquilMind:

Oh, baloney.

GLSEN seriously needs to get out of schools.

If you permit this girl to have her day of silence protest, then the school would have to permit this for every single issue any time a kid asked....Save the whales, protest the military, homeless awareness, hunger awareness, medical issues....  There are MULTITUDES of  real problems. 

The school is not going to do this, so it apparently disallows protests that occur during school hours and might interfere with classes.  She could remain silent before, after, and during - unless she were called on.   It is very likely she would have gotten through the day being silent, if this is really what it was all about. 

This is really just a media-circus, attention-grabbing suit, like GLSEN is so known for.    That organization needs to get out of schools and leave everyone better off. 

Everyone is a special snowflake today. 














LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Mar. 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I think the 'big deal' was that she was acting autonomously, which those control freaks really, really don't like.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

  I definitely agree with this. There are many hetero people that participate in support. 

  I still want to know if she had any oral presentations due that day? If not, I can't figure out how using a writing board for one day would be that big of a deal.

Quoting LindaClement:

It would read better if it was more direct: Lesbian sues school board over suspension for participating in anti-bullying event

Personally, I think the addition of 'lesbian' to the issue is unhelpful and unnecessary. Would anyone, ever, use 'heterosexual' in the same context?

She either has the right to demonstrate in this manner or she doesn't --her sexuality (although doubtless of significant importance to her and her lovers) is immaterial.

Quoting Bookwormy:

It should read Lesbian Teen Sues After Being Suspended for Standing Up Against Anti-Gay Bullying

Or some such rewrite. However, if you read the OP, you will certainly get &, if know you, agree with the point. ;-)


Quoting LindaClement:

That's a convoluted headline...



 


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