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Nancy Smith

Suspended Student Who Posed with a Gun Needs to Find Herself a Better College

June 1, 2019 - 7:30am
From Dia'mon Dallas' Facebook posting
From Dia'mon Dallas' Facebook posting

A student at First Coast Technical College is suing the school after an administrator suspended her indefinitely for, of all things, posing with a handgun at a shooting range and posting the photo on Facebook.

Let's think about this for a minute.

  1. The student, Dia'mon Dallas, wasn't on or near the St. Augustine campus when this posing was going on. She was precisely where she should be. Where better to brandish a firearm than at a shooting range -- this one in Palatka?

  2. The gun was legally purchased.

  3. Dia'mon wasn't cutting class. She wasn't breaking any school rules that I could find or that anyone at the school could identify for me Friday.

  4. She was with her fiance; both were in the company of her fiance's cousin, a military veteran who was teaching them how to shoot.

I Beg to DifferSo why was Dia'mon Dallas suspended? Assistant Principal Donna Gary-Donovan, who did the suspending, has answered that ... 

Because, well, another student saw the photo online and "reported her" -- for what, is unclear -- but apparently Dia'mon's actions offended a classmate. 

Dia'mon also had "a mean look" on her face, according to Gary Donovan.

And she and her fiance, Anfernee Royster, posed together for the photo, which was posted with this caption: “She’s my Bonnie and I’m her Clyde.”

If you're Donna Gary-Donovan, apparently you have an obligation not just to pass judgment on this young student's "speech," but when you don't approve, you must punish it, too. 

So much for Dia'mon's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

On May 14 in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, she filed suit against First Coast Technical College, its principal and assistant principal. Who can blame her? Do you really think First Coast is the kind of institution of higher learning Senate President Joe Negron was talking about a couple of years ago, when he said Florida's colleges and universities could lead the nation?

Candidates for public office have made TV commercials cradling rifles or slinging shotguns over their shoulder. Gary-Donovan might be surprised to learn some of them even won. They're proud of their Second Amendment rights, even if First Coast Technical College is not.

“Some people just don’t like guns. They feel threatened by firearms. But that’s why we have constitutional protections, to protect activities that other people might find uncomfortable or unpopular,” said lawyer and state Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Jacksonville Beach, who's representing Dallas.

Absurd that Byrd has to explain that to the leaders of any institution of higher learning. Especially when you consider Donna Gary-Donovan has described herself in social media as "a passionate education leader providing innovative forward-thinking goals to facilitate successful initiatives."

The lawsuit claims the photo was “purely off-campus Facebook communication with friends.” It also said it had no connection to a “school-related activity” and therefore does not “interrupt the school environment," according to The Jacksonville Daily Record. It seeks to have the college admit it violated Dia'mon's right and will seek damages at the trial. 

I was unable Friday to reach parties on either side of the lawsuit.

Oh, yes, and incidentally: Dia'mon Dallas has been an outstanding student. “Everything has just gone down the drain," she told WJAX-TV. "I really was trying hard in school. I was making A’s.” She said, "I can't get a job and I have a baby to support. I've been out of work long enough and I wanted to do this to be able to provide for my family. And now I can't."

For my money, it's the college and its administrators who should be suspended indefinitely.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


Well St Johns County is the LEADER IN STUPID when it comes to having a SMART SCHOOL DISTRICT ATTORNEY! Upchuch, Bailey and Upchurch are Developer Puppets who are also the St Johns County school district Law Firm. This will cost the School District BIG! Another living up to the DUH MOEMENT in St Johns County Floor A DUH! tr

If she violated the schools code of conduct, that's her own fault.


The internet and social media are sewers. Smart people should simply avoid stepping into either.

Pointing a weapon at anyone, for a picture, or otherwise is just plain stupid. Nonetheless, the picture and comments are free speech. Last time I checked that was still protected in this country. Trump is trying to change that, but no such luck yet. The courts seem to be something he cannot buy, nor improperly influence...yet.

You're a fool and I believe you have the parties mixed up. Last time I looked is was you Liberals that are trying to stamp out of freedom of anything. Now take your ignorant self and get off the internet and back into school.

Duh, MAGA, or MOMMA, or Duh, something like that...

Obviously yet another Democrat with soiled shorts.

The Asst Principal should be reprimanded and demoted. The school should feel the wrath of the legal system. Yes I realize that means the State and taxpayers, but they are ultimately responsible for the situation.

When I was a kid, one of the rules of the house was that tattletales get the same punishment as the offender. Indefinitely suspend the snowflake who ran to admin with a social media post regarding a fellow student!

There are a lot of hidden costs associated with affirmative hiring, settlement of this is one example of such.

In a stretch, I can see why a LEFTIST Facebook user might find this post "edgy" at best. But both the photo and the comment are well within EVERY CITIZEN's Constitutional rights. Stuff like this is pure crap - this young lady should receive her RIGHTS - and the "College Administrators" are 100% pegged as Dumbocraps!

The person who should be suspended - or better yet, fired - is Assistant Principal Donna Gary-Donovan. She clearly has no understanding of our Constitution. She is a disgrace.

This world has gone crazy, I would rather have ms Dallas watching my back than those administrators, legislators or those frightened undeveloped children. I am packing my shit and moving to another planet.

And "college Administrators" are supposed to be "The Cream of the Crop" guiding teachers & students to "higher educational enlightenment"?!?!?!? Obviously, they "can't see the forest for the trees" and are blinded & closed minded by irrationally popular 'political correctness'. I suspect and believe that, after all is said and done, this particular student will have her ENTIRE tuitional costs (and then some) waived or fully paid by that college's revealed "failed enlightenment"... (I can hear her "hired gun" lawyers screaming now: "WHY?..Because she's a Black, female, easy target?...Racism?..Racism !..Racism !.. ) This college deserves all the enmity that can be "heaped upon them",.. simply because of their irrational stupidity ! (GO GIRL ! )

Frankly, college administrators are usually nothing more than the lowest grade of politicians.

"Facebook" posts can "bring you down" faster than a "gunshot" Folks,... REMEMBER THAT ! ! !

Except that she didn't post it; her boyfriend did.

"Facebook" posts by ANYBODY; relatives, friends,...or, enemies can cause you grief.

Why shouldn't this student be in a State College in or near St. Augustine--there are several and a degree therefrom draws greater respect. Nothing is down the drain.

...and why should YOU be the arbiter of HER decisions "David Luther Wo.."?!? ... (Are YOU a college "know it all" administrative 'wonk', or 'adjunct', "hiding out" from the REAL WORLD???)

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nancy smith
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