While the rest of the nation continues to surge forward in the areas of acceptance and tolerance, a Florida student is being punished by her school system for hanging a small gay pride sign inside her personal vehicle.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Gazette, the student was issued a $20 citation from the school’s resource officer for not having a parking decal, but on the citation, the student was told to remove a sign which read, “So Gay I can’t even drive straight.”

The Milton, Florida student says that she identifies as pansexual.

The student was told that her sign was “offensive,” and that she must remove it while on school premises or face additional action. Milton High School Officials told her that it was against school policy, but could not point to a specific area of the handbook that would justify the order.

The student says that she plans to keep the sign up in her car.

The student’s mother Keith Ann Campbell says that while she does not personally approve of the message of the sign, she believes it is her daughter’s right to keep it up in her own personal property.

“It was apparent to me that whoever wrote the ticket is anti-gay. From my understanding, there is another car there with a tag that has curse words. To be honest, I don’t like her sign, but this country was built on freedom of speech.”

One might think that something as innocuous as a sign declaring sexual orientation would no longer cause a problem in 2017 America, but in the Panhandle of Florida, things aren’t always as logical. Clearly, this student’s rights are being violated, particularly if what her mother claims is true.

As an alumni of this school, it comes as no surprise to me that this violation occurred, but it should be swiftly rectified. Just because a city and school system refuses to live in the modern era does not mean that they are exempt from scrutiny and scorn when they step over the line.

This article originally incorrectly stated that the teen received the $20 citation for having the gay pride sign up. She was issued the fine in response to not having a proper parking decal, and then was instructed to remove her sign or face additional consequences. The article has now been updated to reflect this.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com