The family of Taylor Tillung, the Pinellas high school senior who mooned a teacher in February, is suing the School Board to get his punishment reduced.
A student at Palm Harbor University High when the incident occurred, Taylor was suspended for six days and reassigned to Clearwater High. A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court alleges the transfer was unreasonably harsh because it will deny him the once-in-a-lifetime chance to graduate with his class, participate in senior activities leading up to graduation and play his final season as a starter on Palm Harbor’s varsity baseball team. The suit also says school administrators did not correctly follow discipline procedures outlined in the district's Code of Student Conduct.
The boy mooned the teacher "suddenly and without thinking about the consequences," the lawsuit states. It says the boy saw the act as a "childish joke" and did not mean to insult the teacher. Click here to read the complaint.
Legal threats by parents against the School Board are not uncommon, but relatively few families actually follow through.
To those who say the family is taking the issue too far, Tillung's lawyer, B. Edwin Johnson, said "they don't know the facts." He added: "This kid deserves a break."
School Board Attorney Jim Robinson said late Tuesday he had not seen the lawsuit, but declared the district would "review it and defend it." He said, "Without knowing the allegations, we're confident in the administration's position on this case."
- Tom Tobin, Pinellas County education reporter