PDL High School Principal Change

Holmes County School Superintendent Steve Griffin has made a change in principals at Ponce De Leon High School.

David Davis, a somewhat controversial figure, is out. There will be a new man in charge at Ponce De Leon High.

Ponce De Leon High's Principle David Davis won’t be returning to his post next school year. Holmes County School Superintendent Steve Griffin recommended his removal during Tuesday's school board meeting.

Board members unanimously approved all of griffin's personnel recommendation. The big question is why.

Davis was the principal who banned Ponce De Leon High School students from wearing clothing that supported gay rights.

Student Heather Gillman sued the school district with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union and won. The school district had to pay the ACLU’s legal costs, which was a negotiated settlement of about $350,000.

Superintendent Griffin refused to talk to us on Wednesday about Davis, or the reasons for his removal, but we found plenty of residents who had an opinion on the situation.

"I think Mr. Davis should have been fired. I'm glad he did."

"I think it was a pretty good idea. When my brother went there he harassed my brother."

"I do believe it's the best things that could have happened at PDL."

Despite the lawsuit racking up an expensive tab on Davis' behalf, many say he accomplished what he was hired for, which was to raise students’ scores. Last year Ponce De Leon went from a C school to just three points away from being an A school, but many people say Davis isn't the only reason for the improvements.

"Those gains can certainly be accredited for what the faculty did here and the students, because you can't make those types of gains unless the students are committed to it," PDL High Principal Buddy Brown said.

Brown was a former principal at Ponce De Leon and is returning to take over Davis' duties. Brown says in addition being committed to raising test scores, his goal is to reunite a school torn apart by the Gillman lawsuit.

"I think here what I need to do is provided leadership, but I think the school should get a slap on the back for doing so well with all the distraction. The past is behind us and I intend to move forward."

Davis was offered an administrative job at the Holmes County School District administrative offices, but he apparently turned it down, choosing to return to the classroom.


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