Veni.Vidi.Vici.
ACLU backs off. Free speech entitles student to wear anti-gay t-shirt
February 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

School allows student to wear anti-gay T-shirt

Updated:   02/27/2013 12:22:18 AM EST


Wednesday February 27, 2013

WOLCOTT, Conn. (AP) -- Officials in a Connecticut school district have backed down in a fight over free speech rights, allowing a student to wear a T-shirt bearing an anti-gay message.

The lawyer for the school district this month wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, saying Wolcott High School student Seth Groody may wear the T-shirt, which bears a slash mark through a rainbow. The other side showed a male and female stick figure holding hands above the message "Excessive Speech Day," the ACLU of Connecticut said.

The ACLU said Groody wore the shirt April 20, which was designated as a day of awareness of harassment toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Groody complied with an order from a school administrator that he remove his shirt and replace it with one depicting a Wolcott High School symbol, the ACLU said.

Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut, said the district’s reversal teaches students that the First Amendment "is not merely a theoretical discussion topic but a real and vital guarantee" of free speech rights.

The ACLU prepared a lawsuit to be filed in federal court demanding that the school district be stopped from enforcing its T-shirt ban and that no disciplinary measures be taken against Groody.

Without elaborating, school lawyer Christine Chinni wrote to the ACLU on Feb. 14, saying Groody may wear the T-shirt. She declined



to comment beyond what she wrote in the letter.

Edward Groody, Seth’s father, referred questions to the ACLU.

The ACLU disagrees "very strongly" with Seth’s views on gay rights, but its opinion has no bearing on his right to express those views, Staub said.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_22676439/school-allows-student-wear-anti-gay-t-shirt?source=most_viewed

Replies

  • talia-mom
    February 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    because free speech isn't just for things you like.



    Quoting SEEKEROFSHELLS:

     I hope this is a private school. If this school recieves on dime in federal funding, and we have laws protecting the discrimination of people then I vote "NO." Why promote hate, and allow a student to do it under the guise of free speech?



  • Ravishing_dame
    February 27, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I agree with the outcome, he has his write to his speech.  He has a write to his feeling about homosexuality.  People need to quit this childish labeling, calling him a "hater."  There are lot of people, including myself, that don't like hearing about homosexuality nor seeing it.  Sorry. 

  • romalove
    February 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM


    Quoting Ravishing_dame:

    I agree with the outcome, he has his write to his speech.  He has a write to his feeling about homosexuality.  People need to quit this childish labeling, calling him a "hater."  There are lot of people, including myself, that don't like hearing about homosexuality nor seeing it.  Sorry. 

    You are very funny.

    He should have the "write" to say what he wants about homosexuals but those who oppose his views should quit "childish labeling"?  

    LMAO

    Listen, in public school (private too) the school has an interest in promoting peacefulness.  If they determine that someone's clothing message will be inciting riot or other upset at the school, they "can" determine that it's offensive to the school community and ask that it not be worn.

    Furthermore, if the school doesn't want to get involved in "who's is OK and who's isn't" they can make a general rule of no messages on clothing at all.

    Good grief the stupidity is just too much sometimes.

  • candlegal
    February 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    A slash through a rainbow, how is that hate speech?

  • krysstizzle
    February 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Free speech can be limited in public schools. 

    Quoting talia-mom:

    because free speech isn't just for things you like.



    Quoting SEEKEROFSHELLS:

     I hope this is a private school. If this school recieves on dime in federal funding, and we have laws protecting the discrimination of people then I vote "NO." Why promote hate, and allow a student to do it under the guise of free speech?




  • meriana
    by meriana
    February 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Amazing how many people are all for freedom of speech and freedom of expression until that expression, in this case a tee-shirt, depicts something they disagree with. Then rather than being freedom of expression, it's suddenly hate and shouldn't be allowed. Really people, disagreeing with something, not likeing something does NOT equal hate.

  • krysstizzle
    February 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Free speech can be limited in public schools. And wanting to restrict other people's civil rights is hate. 

    Quoting meriana:

    Amazing how many people are all for freedom of speech and freedom of expression until that expression, in this case a tee-shirt, depicts something they disagree with. Then rather than being freedom of expression, it's suddenly hate and shouldn't be allowed. Really people, disagreeing with something, not likeing something does NOT equal hate.


  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    February 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I don't find the t-shirt message to be a hate-filled message, even if it isn't 'supportive'. It's clear he doesn't support gay people. Does he have to? Does he have to pretend that he does because he can't express that he doesn't by wearing a t-shirt?

  • LuvmyAiden
    February 27, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Between this and the kid forced to remove his tshirt because it was a Marines tshirt I am losing my faith in the intelligence of school administrators.

  • candlegal
    February 27, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    I take it to mean he doesn't support gay marriage, not that he doesn't support gay people.

    Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

    I don't find the t-shirt message to be a hate-filled message, even if it isn't 'supportive'. It's clear he doesn't support gay people. Does he have to? Does he have to pretend that he does because he can't express that he doesn't by wearing a t-shirt?