Florida School District Bans Criticism of Homosexuality

[FPN, 12/09/2006] The leader of a Virginia-based pro-family organization is criticizing the Leon County School District in Florida for violating the First Amendment rights of a concerned parent there. Family Policy Network (FPN) President Joe Glover says school oficials there wrongly silenced a Christian parent during a pro-homosexual “Mix It Up Day” sponsored by the school’s “Gay-Straight Alliance” (GSA) club.

LHS principal Rocky Hanna barred a concerned mother named Mina O’Connell from school premises after she presented GSA club sponsors with Bible verses and scientific evidence proving the devastating consequences of homosexual behavior. Hanna ordered O’Connell to leave school property despite a Leon County School Board policy stating that no school employee can deny a parent the right of participation in any school activity. The policy states:

The Leon County Schools, its employees, students or agents of this School District or members of the School Board shall not discriminate against a student, employee, parent or a member of the public in the receipt of services or participation in any program, activity or employment. (Leon County School Board Non-Discrimination Policies)

O’Connell, a long-time volunteer at Leon High school, learned of the GSA meeting when she happened to be at the school one day while announcements were read over the intercom. After talking with other parents about the meeting, it became clear to O’Connell that the school had failed to notify parents that the meeting would occur. O’Connell said this surprised her, since the Leon School District’s policies require schools to “communicate with families about school programs. . . through effective school-to-home communication.”

O’Connell atended the GSA club meeting the next day, prepared with statistical data regarding the consequences of homosexuality. After presenting the documentation to the club’s sponsor, O’Connell left the club meeting. Minutes later, O’Connell was confronted by Hanna in the school’s media center, where she often works as a volunteer. He demanded that she leave the premises, saying, “You need to leave.” When O’Connell asked why, Hanna replied “I don’t want you here.” When O’Connell replied that she was a volunteer in the media center, Hanna said, “Not anymore.”

In a lengthy interview with FPN, O’Connell told Glover she merely wanted to warn students about Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality and to provide them with empirical data proving the devastating consequences of engaging in it. She wrote, “I wanted to make sure those kids knew the whole story, and not just what homosexuals want them to believe.”

FPN policy analyst Alexander Mason points to an obvious double standard in the school’s “non-discrimination” policy when it comes to Christian beliefs and scientific evidence about homosexuality. In a written statement, Mason said the principal’s actions betrayed the very idea of tolerance he was supposedly trying to instill in students. He said, “Why has Mr. Hanna determined it is so important to promote tolerance of sexual perversion while barring the truth from being told about its physical and spiritual consequences?” He added, “For that matter, why is he afraid of showing students the empirical data showing that the behavior leads to an early grave? Why is he so biased?”

Various pro-homosexual websites detail the activities that occur in homosexual-affirming, school-based clubs, with some even promoting homosexual experimentation. According to GSA website, such clubs are “empowering youth activists to fight homophobia (sic) and transphobia (sic) in schools.” According to Glover, the problem with GSA clubs is that they implicitly and explicitly communicate a powerful endorsement of homosexuality for students who may be interested in trying that kind of deadly behavior.

Glover asked, “Whatever happened to schools teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic? Parents don’t send their children off to school so they can be brainwashed by homosexual activists.” He adds, “It’s wrong for a school to allow homosexual activists to indoctrinate young minds with the supposed ‘virtues’ of a dangerous lifestyle like homosexuality. But it is inexcusable for a school to deny equal access to parents with an opposing point of view.”

Glover concluded, “Academically speaking, Censorship of religious and scientific reasons to avoid deadly sexual perversions is purposefully ignorant and irresponsible.”



Email the Leon County School District administrators and let them know that parents have a right to know what non-academic clubs and activities their children are invited to participate in.

Click here to email Leon High School Principal, Mr. Rocky Hanna.

Click here to email the five members of the Leon County School Board.

Click here to email the Superintendent of Leon County Schools, Mr. Jackie Pons.

Click here to email the “Gay-Straight Alliance” club sponsors, Mr. Scott Brown and Ms. Lorrie O’Dell.

Click here to email the Leon High School Parent Teacher Organization President, Ms. Meg Guyton.