Video – Bullied Gay Teen Luke Herbert Gets His Apology From Teacher Who Harassed Him. But Is It Good Enough?
Luke had been bullied, beaten and ridiculed by students for being gay at FloridaFlagler High but the straw that broke the camels back was when his his shop teacher, Floyd Binkley, had told a joke about Mountain Dew and Pepsi turning gay if both cans were placed in the fridge together with Lukes.
The ACLU took on Lukes case and as part of an agreement with Flagler Flagler Palm Coast High School , the school would implement LGBT anti-bullying policies, his shop teacher Floyd Binkley would piblically apologize.
The school this week posted Binkley’s apology as part of a public service announcement about bullying and harassment, produced by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club.
Unfortunately it’s niether really public or very good.
The video, posted only at the school’s website and linked to the high school’s home page, provides no context about the incident or background to the video’s production. The manner of its posting and sloppiness of its production appear to downplay as much as possible the video’s origins and purpose.The home-page link refers to it merely as a “public service announcement,” without reference to bullying, harassment or the Binkley case. It does not identify the five students as members of the Gay Straight Alliance. The page on which it is posted does not contain any text except for a tiny line above the video that reads, “bullying PSA.” Binkley himself does not appear until the final fifth of the video. The title of the video, once it gets rolling–”Anti-Harassment & Anti-Discrimination”–misspells the word harassment. And Jacob Oliva, the school principal, who opens the nearly six-minute video, looks distinctly uncomfortable delivering his lines, which he is reading rapidly, almost without pause betweens sentences, through a teleprompter.
As for Binkley’s statement and apology. It’s wooden, badly written and borderline contrite and abruptly cut off at the end, in the middle of a word.
To add insult to injury the school district also has yet to rewrite its anti-bullying policy in accordance with the settlement.
Luke Herbert says that he does not accept the announcement as “public” and he may yet sue the district.
Go get em Luke!