Mooning discipline to stand

Published April 13, 2007

CLEARWATER - Barring a last-minute reprieve, the Palm Harbor University High School senior who mooned a teacher in February will remain at the school to which he was reassigned for the rest of the year.

A judge ruled Thursday that Taylor Tillung's punishment - a six-day suspension and reassignment to Clearwater High School - was not unduly severe.

In fact, Circuit Judge John A. Schaefer said, if a police officer had witnessed the incident, Taylor could have been "arrested on the spot for indecent exposure."

"He committed a stupid act," Schaefer said. "There are consequences for that."

Schaefer also denied the claim of B. Edwin Johnson, lawyer for the Tillung family, that school officials did not follow discipline procedures outlined in the district's Code of Student Conduct in reassigning Taylor to another school.

The mooning incident occurred Feb. 21 when Taylor arrived late for a lip synch show at Palm Harbor University High. When teacher Carla Webster told him the auditorium was full, Taylor pressed her to let him in. After she declined, Taylor pulled down his pants and mooned her.

Taylor's parents, Todd and Terry Tillung, filed the lawsuit a week after a district official turned down the family's final appeal to have Taylor reinstated at Palm Harbor.

Taylor, 18, attended Thursday's hearing with his mother and grandmother. They declined to comment after the judge denied their motion.