(As originally published with bells and whistles, Tue, October 25th 2022, 1:23 PM EDT)
WELLINGTON, Fla. (CBS12) — A father in Palm Beach County is suing the school district — along with his 12-year-old son’s school, the principal, and teacher — but not exactly under a controversial new Florida law.
Dr. Francisco Catalin Deliu’s complaint claims that last month, he learned “from his child that his school is expressly and/or implicitly advocating for homosexuality as an alternative way of life.”
The case involves Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington, principal Dr. Eugina Smith-Freeman and teacher Rachel Raos.
It said the problem started on Friday, Sept. 16, when his son told him
“that his computer science teacher had put up two ‘gay pride’ (rainbow) flags in her classroom. … His son advised him that the teacher also used a search engine to find websites about homosexual lifestyles and proselytized to the students in class.”
He claimed the next week, the principal called to say she dismissed his complaint and wouldn’t give a reason. Then, when he said her decision was against the law, “She responded that she would have to discuss the matter further with the Board.”
Then, he showed up “to demand that his son be temporarily removed from the teacher’s classroom pending anticipated litigation.” The suit claimed they came to a compromise and “the school would look to see if they could change him to another computer science class. The school did not keep its promise and, instead, unilaterally and without notice to Dr. Deliu moved his son into an art class.”
According to the complaint, “The school dismisses his concerns without reasons. He takes the matter to the superior authorities. They ignore his grievances entirely. Meanwhile, his boy’s education suffers.”
The “Parental Rights in Education” law — also referred to by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” — that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in March “authorizes parents to bring action against school districts to obtain declaratory judgment; provides for additional award of injunctive relief, damages, & reasonable attorney fees & court costs to certain parents.”
But that is not mentioned in the 26-page document. It did say, “The legislature has dealt with the issue of the only appropriate flags that may be flown in a public school.”
Instead, it blamed the government.
Deliu’s case refers to “due process rights,” “substantive human rights,” and “natural rights from God which are protected by law,” along with his rights to not have “his child ‘educated’ in the ways of homosexuality” and not have “the state acting contrary to his religious beliefs.”
Also, “He is against government intrusion upon his rights, especially in terms of how to raise his son.”
Deliu said he and his son are “Orthodox Christians. Their religion considers homosexuality a sin.”
Also, “Dr. Deliu is a libertarian who lives by a ‘live and let live’ creed. He respects the rights of others, but also demands they not encroach upon his rights.”
Before this, Deliu had complained about a “library book incident” in which he said the school was “propagating homosexual ideology.”
Deliu is originally from Romania. His suit says he “was given refugee status in the United States of America in 1980 on the grounds of religious and political persecution by the communist Causescu regime.”
He demands a jury trial in Circuit Court.
Deliu is no stranger to the law.
His son was born in New Zealand, where in 2017, the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal ordered him to pay more than $250,000 and suspended his law license for 15 months for six charges of professional misconduct, two of unprofessional conduct and one of conduct unbecoming of a practitioner.
Deliu was found to have baselessly accused a judge of being a racist.
“We found that the practitioner’s complaints against Justice Harrison were not proper complaints at all. They were merely an effort by the practitioner to protect himself,” it said.