The two girls, one a junior and one a senior pupil of Blanche
Ely High School, were holding hands when headmaster Karlton Johnson
stopped them, South Florida Times reported today.
According to the news source, the headmaster took the two girls -
who both have good grades - to his office and threatened to suspend
After that, it's alleged that he called their parents and outed
them as lesbians.
One of the girls had not told her parents about her sexual
orientation and the headmaster's actions have raised concerns,
following recent increases in suicide amongst gay teenagers.
"The principal willfully and recklessly endangered that girl's
life, should she have committed suicide," said Michael Rajmer of
the School Diversity Committee, speaking at a Broward County School
Board meeting on Tuesday, 7News reported.
The school claims all hand-holding between students is
The two girls, who had been warned before, claim they have often
seen straight couples holding hands without being reprimanded and
that they were singled out because they are gay.
Johnson's reaction caused the students to complain to school
"There has been a situation in my upcoming [sic] school, Blanche
Ely High, dealing with discrimination against the gay/lesbian
community," one of the students wrote in an e-mail complaining to
school officials. "Our principal here has tried to suspend me and
my friend for holding hands. And I would like to know if such
actions are necessary for something so fragile," South Floria Times
On 13 May North Area Superintendent Sharon Airaghi replied to the
letter stating that Johnson was within his rights and had violated
no district policies by his warning to them.
She referred to the rules in place banning students from holding