No damages to girl who said 'that's so gay'

jeff's picture

SANTA ROSA, California (AP) -- A judge ruled Tuesday that a high school student who sued after being disciplined and then mercilessly teased for using the phrase "That's so gay" is not entitled to monetary damages.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing said she sympathized with 18-year-old Rebekah Rice for the ridicule she experienced at Maria Carrillo High School. But, the judge said, Rice's lawyers failed to prove that school administrators had violated any state laws or singled the girl out for punishment.

"All of us have probably felt at some time that we were unfairly punished by a callous teacher, or picked on and teased by boorish and uncaring bullies," the judge wrote in a 20-page ruling. "Unfortunately, this is part of what teenagers endure in becoming adults."

The law "is simply too crude and imprecise an instrument to satisfactorily soothe deeply hurt feelings," Rushing said.

The case filed by Rice and her parents in 2003 brought widespread attention to a three-word phrase that some teenagers use to mean "stupid" or "uncool," but has come under attack as an insensitive insult to gay people.

The Rices argued that a teacher violated Rebekah Rice's First Amendment rights by sending her to the principal's office and putting a note in her school file. During a trial in February, Rebekah Rice testified she said "That's so gay" as a response to other students asking her rude questions about her Mormon upbringing.

wilma wonka's picture

she shouldn't be teased

She shouldn't be teased for getting in trouble, it's so hypocritical. Why did her and her family sue in the first place? Getting a note and sent to the principle doesn't merit a lawsuit. Just seems like they're over-reacting

"gay: cheerful and lighthearted; merry." - The American Heritage Dictionary.

joemondragon's picture

lol, your footer went

lol, your footer went perfectly with that comment.

"A friend is someone who bails you out of jail; a best friend is someone who stands in the cell next to you and says 'that was freakin' awesome'"
-Dr. Jamie Morris

gaynow's picture

I don't actually know much

I don't actually know much about this case, but I think I read somewhere that it was, she was being teased about her Mormon-ness and replied to something someone said with "that's so gay," and that's how this whole thing got started.