High School Principal Karlton Johnson Is Why Some LGBT Kids Kill Themselves

South Florida Times has the latest case of discrimination against LGBT kids, followed by outing them to their parents.

The South Florida Times is not identifying the students, who are an interracial couple, one a junior, the other a senior. Both have good grades and one is an honor student.

The two were holding hands while walking to class on May 3 at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach. School Principal Karlton Johnson confronted and took them to his office.

“We were walking to class when he rolled up on his golf cart and said, ‘Didn’t I tell you two to stop doing do that?’ and then he took us to his office,” one of the girls told South Florida Times. “He gave us a speech and then separated us before calling our parents, which was wrong. My mother already knew but my friend’s mom didn’t know she is into girls.”

You should definitely read the rest for much more. Surprising no one, the school board thinks what Principal Karlton Johnson did was just great. North Area Superintendent Sharon Airaghi defended his abuse in a letter to the girls.

But I think the last paragraph I quoted is the most important point and the most damaging to these girls, and to other students at Blanch Ely High. Frankly, this is one big reason projects like It Gets Better and I’m From Driftwood exist, to undo the damage done to our children and youth by bigots like Principal Karlton Johnson before they attempt or complete suicide.

Principal Karlton Johnson
Principal Karlton Johnson

By the way, Principal Karlton Johnson’s outing these girls to their parents is unfortunately not without precedent. In August 2008 I posted about a similar story in Holmes County, Florida, where a principal punished a lesbian student and then outed her to her parents.

The court decided that the principal did wrong in Holmes County. Here’s hoping they get a chance to say the same thing about this case in Pompano Beach.

Contact information below is for non-cussing-them-out messages:

Principal Karlton Johnson:
   email karlton.johnson@browardschools.com
   phone (754) 322-0950

North Area Superintendent Sharon Airaghi:
   email sharon.airaghi@browardschools.com (that’s a guess)
   phone (754) 321- 3400

Superintendent of Schools James F. Notter:
   email supt_notter@browardschools.com
   phone (754) 321-2600

Email the School Board:
   email schoolboard@browardschools.com