Surfing around looking for recent news/updates on the recent litigation involving Florida's Okeechobee High School and its efforts to suppress student efforts to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club (efforts that eventually failed spectacularly, by the way — see earlier commentary here), and I was reminded of the related events involving Ponce de Leon High School, then-principal David Davis, and Ponce de Leon High School senior Heather Gillman, which then led to this pleasant discovery [for the original, click here]:
Wow. Way to go, Heather!
The 9/24/2008 press release from the Playboy Foundation notes that the First Amendment Awards were bestowed this year on just three recipients from a record number of 60 nominees,
The Playboy Foundation praised Gillman for her "fearlessness in speaking out on behalf of the rights of gay students."
This puts 17-yr-old high school senior Heather Gillam in quite distinguished company. Former recipients include film-maker and activist Michael Moore and columnist Molly Ivins. This year's recipients also included New-York-based attorney Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), recognized for "his tireless efforts to defend First Amendment rights of students and faculty," and Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician, recognized for his courage in speaking out against electronic surveillance of American citizens by our own government.
Florida High School Student Wins Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award (10/20/2008): Senior Heather Gillman Honored for Fearlessness In Speaking Out For the Rights of Gay and Lesbian Students. Accessed 10/24/2008 at http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/youth/37255prs20081020.html
Hudson, Waymon (10/23/2008). FL Student Heather Gillman Honored for Speaking Out for LGBT Rights. Accessed 10/24/2008 at http://florida.bilerico.com/2008/10/fl_student_heather_gillman_honored_for_s.php
The Playboy Foundation. Web site accessed 10/24/2008 at http://www.playboyenterprises.com/home/content.cfm?content=t_template&packet=0007B308-45F5-1C7D-9B578304E50A011A&artTypeID=0007B451-BB99-1C76-8FEA8304E50A010D
Ponce de Leon Senior Wins $10,000 Hugh Hefner Award. (10/16/2008). Accessed 10/24/2008 at http://www.wtvynews4.com/home/headlines/31126474.html.