He is a model student-athlete at Christopher Columbus High with an unweighted (non-curved) 4.09 GPA and letters of interest from over 15 colleges including Yale. He is representative of what any parent wants for their kids, and now his whole life is being destroyed.
Luther Johnson, V, (“LJV”) has been banned from ALL sports by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FSHAA) for his entire upcoming Senior Year over two approximately 20-second on-the-field non-malicious plays during two very active Lacrosse games where two seasoned Lacrosse coaches (including a college coach) reviewed the video and one stated “no more than a 1-2 minute penalty” should have been called not only on LJV, but “#99” in that game who committed a non-malicious hard hit prior to LJV, and the other stated that LJV’s hit was “no worse than the three before it;” that LJV was “just physically stronger than the other player and made an aggressive slide hitting the player with his shoulder.” LJV has never been disciplined academically or in any sport prior to this year. He was recently elected President of his school’s Christian fellowship. His Principal, Asst. Principal, and Athletic Director previously testified in his behalf before the FHSAA to overturn this sanction and his Athletic Director is a prior member of that FHSAA committee. But despite the statements of the well-seasoned Lacrosse coaches, LJV’s stellar academic and athletic history, the School’s testimony, his parent’s testimony, and even LJV himself showing remorse and humbly asking to be reinstated, the FHSAA upheld this one-year ban which equates to a lifetime ban from all sports because this is LJV’s last year!
The FHSAA reasoned they gave him a second chance by reducing the prior sanction of 6 weeks to 5 weeks after he was penalized in an earlier Lacrosse game this year where he was the only African-American on the field (and his team) and was repeatedly called the “N” word by other players from the opposing team. That was his first ever offense and the FHSAA suspended him for 6 weeks.
The Final hearing before the FHSAA's Board of Directors is this Monday, June 10, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. After that, it takes Court action to resolve this problem and time is running out. Let the FHSAA know that you will not tolerate the very institution designed to promote student-athlete excellence over-punishing this high-school kid for a mistake on the field during an active physical-contact game of a physical-contact sport where he had no malice and showed remorse to the committee. He can’t even practice with his high-school teammates. We’re not a nation who throws the good kids out with the bathwater. Their one-year ban for his remaining scholastic life will damage his whole life!
Here are the 5 things YOU can do to make YOUR Voice heard in the Fight to Save LJV!
1. Share this story and compel Others to join the fight.
2. Sign this #HelpUsFightForLJV petition
3. COME to the Final Hearing on Monday 06/10/19 at 1 PM at Christopher Columbus High School. It starts exactly at 1 PM and is only 20 minutes long before the FHSAA renders its on-the-spot decision so arrive between 12 Noon - 12:15 to gain access to the school. Mr. Johnson (LJV's father will be standing out front.)
4. If you can't come to the meeting, CALL the FHSAA (352-372-9551 x 240, Craig Damon) on Monday before 10 AM and demand this sanction be overturned!
5. Donate to help cover LJV's legal fees on his parent's Go Fund Me page by clicking this link: https://www.gofundme.com/justice-luther-fhsaa-1-yr-suspension-atty-fee