Dean Paterakis, a school board candidate, was arrested on May 24 during a Brevard County School Board meeting in Florida (video below).
The meeting was about whether the board should give students and school staff legal protections based on sexual orientation, transgender status and gender identity, according to WMFE. The public was allowed to speak to the board
Paterakis took his turn at the podium, spoke about allegations of wasted millions of dollars over past years and then said: "The reason why I am here now is that we are not putting children’s safety first. When you say what we need to use language that is appropriate in what we do in our schools, should be what we have here. Would it be OK now if I showed a picture of my penis to you guys? Because that’s what happened."
Andy Ziegler, the head of the school board said, "Let's keep it civil, please."
"We have a teacher who put his phone onto the big screen and showed, what the students say, was his erect penis," Paterakis added.
"That’s enough, Dean," Ziegler interrupted.
The microphones were cut off for a few seconds, and Paterakis yelled, "I have a right, I have a right to free speech!"
"Everybody calm down," Ziegler told the crowd.
Some in the crowd chanted, "Let him speak!" as Paterakis was confronted by security guards and then deputy sheriffs, who eventually dragged him out of the room.
Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Dave Jacobs said in a statement: "Paterakis then refused several lawful orders to leave the premises by uniformed deputies. In further effort to intentionally refuse the orders, Paterakis protested by dropping to the ground and continued verbally disrupting the function of the School Board meeting."
Paterakis was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence, notes Florida Today.
Paterakis wrote a long posting on his Facebook page on May 25 that said in part:
It is 3am and I just came home from Sharpes Jail ... I have seen the sheriff report against me as they were booking me and it said that because I was told not to use the word penis that I was asked to leave and I was also charged with resisting arrest which is such a joke. I thought I have seen it all, but this absolutely is one the most ridiculous things I have seen the school board and sheriff's department pull.
How out of touch with education are these elected school board members are that they don't understand that the schools teach education in elementary and the word penis is a medical and an appropriate term to refer a man's genitalia? These charges are obvious attempts to keep me silent about goes on in our schools.
Paterakis also mentioned the teacher whom he was speaking about during the meeting.
(Note: Paterakis mentions the penis incident at 1:15 mark)