OSPREY, FL — (05-13-22) — Florida high school senior Zander Moricz says that he is being silenced by his school thanks to Florida’s anti-gay law. Moricz describes his recent meeting with his school’s principal last week.

Zander Moricz said that when he was summoned to the principal’s office last week, it wasn’t a big deal as he has been his class’ president for his entire high school career — and has been his school’s first openly LGBTQ student to hold the title. So it was fairly a routine request, said Moricz. But once he entered the administrator’s office, he said, he immediately knew “this wasn’t a typical meeting.”

His principal, Stephen Covert of Pine View School in Osprey, Florida, warned Moricz that if his graduation speech referenced his LGBTQ activism, school officials would cut off his microphone, end his speech and halt the ceremony, alleges Moricz.

“He said that he just ‘wanted families to have a good day’ and that if I was to discuss who I am and the fight to be who I am, that would ‘sour the celebration,’” Moricz, 18, recalled. “It was incredibly dehumanizing.”

JRL CHARTS LGBT Politics News reached out to Mr. Covert for comment on this story but he refused to comment but did release a statement through his employer Sarasota County Schools, claiming he and other school officials “champion the uniqueness of every single student on their personal and educational journey.”

In a statement, Sarasota County Schools confirmed Stephen Covert and Moricz’s meeting, saying that graduation speeches are routinely reviewed to ensure they are “appropriate to the tone of the ceremony.”

“Out of respect for all those attending the graduation, students are reminded that a graduation should not be a platform for personal political statements, especially those likely to disrupt the ceremony,” said the district. “Should a student vary from this expectation during the graduation, it may be necessary to take appropriate action.”

In his principal’s defense, Moricz told NBC News..”that he was “astonished” because Covert’s demand “did not reflect his previous actions” in their four years of working together. Moricz said he “strongly believes” the request was in response to a newly enacted state law, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.”

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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