Demand apology from ACLU over anti-gay T-shirt in school
- Posted by Kayla Staats
To: Susan N. Herman, ACLU, Gay people, LGBTQ people, LGBT people, striaght people, allies, activists, everyone
I believe freedom of speech is an important issue; however, a line must be drawn at bullying. Because of bullying, some speech freedoms have been taken away in schools with the intent to keep students safe. The ACLU recently threatened to sue when a school would not allow a student to wear a...…
I believe freedom of speech is an important issue; however, a line must be drawn at bullying. Because of bullying, some speech freedoms have been taken away in schools with the intent to keep students safe. The ACLU recently threatened to sue when a school would not allow a student to wear a shirt with a cross through a rainbow (it was supposed to be anti gay) see the full story here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50975541/ns/local_news-hartford_ct/#.US7TXzCsiSp The School was in the right when they first did not allow the student to wear the shirt because it was a form of discrimination, which can cause students to feel unsafe within schools. I could not find the state in which this happened so I am going to use the California Education Code as EXAMPLE not proof, seeing as the laws may be different where ever this may be.
This petition closed on April 19, 2013.
48 people signed the petition
201(a): "all students have the right to participate fully in the educational process free from discrimination and harassment."
Wearing a shirt against a certain group of people is an act of discrimination and can make students feel unsafe in their school environment. Students who feel uncomfortable because they are discriminated against in their schools often miss school and are more likely to drop out. Even if this is not the law in the state, if the school has adopted a non-discrimination policy, wearing an anti gay shirt would fall under discrimination. The school is within its rights to make non-discrimination policies that protect students, even if it takes away their students rights to say offensive things to other students, which is the same thing as this t-shirt, just in a visual form instead of audio form.
234.1(b)(1) If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.
The school did exactly that. They barred the student from wearing the shirt until the ACLU threatened to sue claiming first amendment rights. In schools, first amendment rights don't go as far in order to keep students safe. This was a targeted act of discrimination against a certain type of people. Had this been done verbally, the school would have been within it's rights to stop it, but because it was on a t-shirt, it sparked some controversy.
Students have a right to feel safe in schools. Keep discrimination out of the dress code.
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