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  1. #1
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
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    ‘That’s so gay’ prompts student lawsuit

    Student sent to principal’s office insists it was not a homophobic putdown
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 9:41 p.m. ET Feb 28, 2007

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. - When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay."

    Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?

    After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued, claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo High violated their daughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering a phrase "which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," according to court documents.

    Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: "That's so stupid, that's so silly, that's so dumb."

    But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

    "The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment," the district's lawyers argued in a legal brief. "In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase 'That's so gay' ... was a reasonable regulation."

    Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing plans to issue a ruling in the non-jury trial after final written arguments are submitted in April. Her gag order prevents the two sides from discussing the case.

    A confusing set of terms
    Derogatory terms for homosexuality have long been used as insults. But the landscape has become confusing in recent years as minority groups have tried to reclaim terms like "queer," "ghetto" and the n-word.

    In recent years, gay rights advocates and educators have tried teaching students that it is hurtful to use the word "gay" as an all-purpose term for something disagreeable. At Berkeley High School, a gay student club passed out buttons with the words "That's so gay" crossed out to get their classmates to stop using them.

    Rick Ayers, a retired teacher who helped compile and publish the "Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary," a compendium of trendy teen talk circa 2001, said educating students about offensive language is preferable to policing their speech.


    "I wouldn't be surprised if this girl didn't even know the origin of that term," he said. "The kids who get caught saying it will claim it's been decontextualized, but others will say, `No, you know what that means.' It's quite talked about."

    Rice's parents, Elden and Katherine Rice, also claim the public high school employed a double-standard because, they say, administrators never sought to shield Rebekah from teasing based on Mormon stereotypes.

    Daughter singled out, parents say
    In addition, the Rices say their daughter was singled out because of the family's conservative views on sexuality. They are seeking unspecified damages and want the disciplinary notation expunged from Rebekah's school record.

    Eliza Byard, deputy executive director of the New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said nearly nine out of 10 gay students her organization surveyed in 2005 reported hearing "That's so gay" or "You're so gay" frequently.

    "It bothers them a lot," Byard said. "As odd or funny as the phrase sounds, imagine what it feels like to be in a setting where you consistently hear it used to describe something undesirable or stupid, and it also refers to you."

    She said it is OK to discipline students for using the phrase after efforts have been made to educate them.

    "The job of a school is to deal proactively and consistently with all forms of bullying, name-calling and harassment," she said.

    Jordan Lorence, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization, agreed "That's so gay" carries a negative meaning and said he would not want his children to say it. But he said formal discipline is not the answer.

    "Reasonable people should say, `Let's put a stop to this kind of search-and-destroy mission by school officials for everything that is politically incorrect,'" he said.

    But it’s OK to mock her religion?

    What a bunch of dumb-shits.


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  2. #2
    KaiGywer's Avatar
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    I was just gonna ask what you wrote at the bottom...

    Anyways, she didn't say "that's so gay"...she said "that's so ghey" ...

    At least that's what gay people would tell ya
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post
    I was just gonna ask what you wrote at the bottom...

    Anyways, she didn't say "that's so gay"...she said "that's so ghey" ...

    At least that's what gay people would tell ya
    I was refering to the idiots in charge at the school.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1sgkelly View Post
    I was refering to the idiots in charge at the school.

    I think that's what I did too At least I'm pretty sure I tried to say that...
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  5. #5
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    Great minds think alike.

    We are the thin blue line
    between you
    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

  6. #6
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    Am I the only one who sees this ENTIRE fiasco as one monumental excersize in complete stupidity?

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words buy my friggin' lawyer a Beemer...

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Am I the only one who sees this ENTIRE fiasco as one monumental excersize in complete stupidity?

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words buy my friggin' lawyer a Beemer...
    No shit
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  8. #8
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    dulce et decorum est pro patria mori


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  9. #9
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    Man, if that phrase were outlawed here, you'd all be screwed.
    \\
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  10. #10
    BEB
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post
    I was just gonna ask what you wrote at the bottom...

    Anyways, she didn't say "that's so gay"...she said "that's so ghey" ...

    At least that's what gay people would tell ya
    I always assumed it was just what people used to get around banned word filters. So this is like those nutty broads who insist on being referred to as "womyn"?

    Guess I need a counterculture to English translation book.

  11. #11
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Am I the only one who sees this ENTIRE fiasco as one monumental excersize in complete stupidity?

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words buy my friggin' lawyer a Beemer...
    No.

    Yes.

    We are the thin blue line
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    and all the money in the world.

    And no you can't have any.

  12. #12
    deputy29 is offline Master Officer
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    I have some gay friends that would not be offended by that phase. They may be gay but they hate those that they call "flaming fags". They say it's those that call attention to these sayings that give all gays a bad name. Remember there is a diffrince between those who are gay and those who flaunt their gayness.

  13. #13
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    That state bites.
    http://www.lawenforcementforums.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic763_2.gif

    "I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky

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    That state bites. Freedom of Speech ever heard of it? Damn the double post.
    http://www.lawenforcementforums.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic763_2.gif

    "I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky

    "An Englewood Ranger is no stranger to Danger.." -Unk

    Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are.

    A Good Friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you in the cell saying, "That was Awesome."

    God Made Police Men so Fireman Would Have Heroes.

  15. #15
    KaiGywer's Avatar
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    Hmm...and I thought my firewall was made by liberals:

    Access to this web site is restricted
    In accordance with the (company) Electronic Communications Policy, access to this Internet site is denied.
    Reason: "Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest;Society and Lifestyles"
    URL: "http://boifromtroy.com/archives/cal&#37;20sucks.JPG"

    As a reminder, (company)'s electronic resources (including Internet access) are to be used to conduct (company) Business. Additionally, the Company reserves the right to record and monitor all Internet access.


    Guess it doesn't like gay people either
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