Ponce de Leon Senior Wins $10,000 Hugh Hefner Award

By: WJHG-TV
By: WJHG-TV

Heather Gillman, the Ponce de Leon High School student who won her lawsuit against the Holmes County School District earlier this year, is getting more national recognition.

The Playboy Foundation has selected Gillman and 2-other people as the winners of the 2008 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment awards.

You may remember, Gillman sued the school district after Ponce de Leon high school principal David Davis banned students from wearing clothes or carrying items that support gay rights. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Gillman, who is not gay, sued for violation of First Amendment rights, and won.

As a result, the school district had to pay the ACLU legal fees of more than 300-thousand dollars, Davis is no longer the principal at Ponce de Leon, and school district personnel had to participate in a sensitivity training course.

Gillman and the other 2-winners will receive their awards in Washington D.C. on October 21st.

When she sued the school district, Gillman only asked for, and received $1,000. The Playboy Foundation will give the high school senior a check for $10,000.


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  • by citizen Location: tri-states on Oct 17, 2008 at 11:41 AM
    Congratulations to Ms. Gillman & the other two recipients. While that whole court case was a PR nightmare for the schools AND the people involved, & there was much criticism & many VERY harsh words exchanged... it is something we should all be thankful for when our rights as citizens are fought for & protected - even if its from people we don't like or ideas we dont "approve of". I think that was one of the many fundamentals our nation was founded on... to stand up, fight, push back, whatever it takes to protect our freedoms and rights. You remember those rights, huh? The right to peaceable assembly, the right to bear arms, the right to worship who or what we choose AS we choose... and yes, the right to free speech? Do we dare sacrifice or restrict a single one of those rights for one person, whom we may disagree with, without jeopardizing ALL of them for the rest of us? Mighty dangerous I think!! Again, congrats to all & best wishes for a successful college career to Ms. Gillman.
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