High School Student’s T-Shirt Sets Off First Amendment Flap
An unnamed sophmore at Lynn English Highschool near Boston, Massachusetts sparked a real-life civics lesson when she wore her "All The Cool Girls Are Lesbians" to class.
According to the The Daily Item, a teacher saw her in the lunchroom and sent her to show her shirt to school vice principal, John O'Hagan. O'Hanagan deemed it inappropriate and told her she needed to cover up the slogan and refrain from wearing it again. When the girl asked why, he replied, "Because it's political and offensive to some people."
In a letter to the town mayor and the school committee, the student reportedly wrote, "Well, frankly, I'm the one who feels offended." She continued, "I'm a young lady who stands up for what I believe in…It makes me a little uneasy that being myself and being proud of that I was scrutinized and disciplined like a girl who as wearing a shirt too low."
The student also contended that a number of other girls wear shirts that say, "I love boys" and go unpunished. At a recent school committee meeting on the issue, Principal Thomas Strangie disagreed and added, "No one was trying to discriminate. We want everyone to feel safe and secure, and we don't allow anyone to wear anything disruptive." The school dress code bans clothing depicting weapons, drugs, alcohol, that presents health or safety problems, or anything considered "disruptive to the education process."
Sarah Wunch, an attorney for the ACLU, points out that Massachusetts has strict laws protecting students' rights to self-expression. She plans on writing a letter challenging the principal and superintendent. "The kid's rights were violated and she should be told she can wear it..." Wunch said in an interview on March 13, 2012 with The Daily Item. "They need to educate themselves and their employees because they could get sued. And I think they owe the student an apology."
What do you think? Was the t-shirt appropriate for school? Please let us know in the comments below.
Copyright Yahoo! 2012