Gload and her husband support Woodard, and do not believe that "one can overcome their sexual orientation," she said. The family asked for a letter stating the reasons for Woodard's expulsion, but the letter they received contained no answers.
This letter serves as notice to you that your son is expelled from the school effective immediately," the letter said. "Please know we will be praying for you and your family during this time of transition."
The school declined to give her a letter detailing which school policy her son had broken. Nothing in the school manual indicates that gay people can't attend.
No State Law Against Gay Discrimination
There is no law in the state of Florida that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, said Trent Steele, the family's attorney. However, under school policy, a student must be given a reason for an expulsion.
"It's clear that any student expelled must be provided with a letter in writing stating the exact reasons for the expulsion," Steele said. "That wasn't done here."
The lawsuit is not aimed at changing any laws, but it is aimed at removing the blemish of expulsion from Woodard's record, Steele said. According to the school handbook, a student may only be expelled for bringing a weapon to school, committing a felony, or assaulting a teacher or another student.
"There's no provision for expelling someone for an unacceptable moral lifestyle, which is what they appear to have done here," Steele said.
Woodard is now attending a public high school.