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ACLU backs off. Free speech entitles student to wear anti-gay t-shirt

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

by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Replies (21-30):
parentalrights1
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this


What if a kid wore a shirt saying that he doesn't support integration? Would everyone be fighting to protect his precious right to speech then? No.

Quoting candlegal:

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?




TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this

 You are missing the point.  The kid isn't expressing disdain for some other kid at all.    He's expressing disagreement with the whole gay propaganda thing transmitted by the "rainbow" and establishing that he still believes in traditional relationships. 

He's allowed to have this (gasp) belief that men and women are meant for each other. 


Quoting Euphoric:

I agree with this, but my opinion is that it's sad that someone feels such disdain for a gay person, that they need to wear an anti gay shirt. Pathetic and disgusting.


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM
1 mom liked this

 Here we go again with the desperate attempt to equate two disparate things and ride that civil rights train where it doesn't go.

Race is an innate characteristic; sexual behavior is not.


Quoting parentalrights1:

 

What if a kid wore a shirt saying that he doesn't support integration? Would everyone be fighting to protect his precious right to speech then? No.

Quoting candlegal:

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?


 

 


 

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM
3 moms liked this

 True.  Something liberals despise, as tolerance runs only one way.


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?

 

 


 

parentalrights1
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM
4 moms liked this

What lick of difference does it make if you don't "like" hearing or seeing it? People have to see and hear about heterosexuality all the time as well as many other things they probably "don't like" but they don't get a vote in that.


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. 



parentalrights1
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM
5 moms liked this

Why do you conservatives always pull the tolerance card when someone doesn't tolerate intolerance? That's so DUMB and I am baffled whenever I see it.


Tolerance means just that. Being tolerant of others differences. It does NOT mean being tolerant of people being intolerant to those differences. That doesn't make sense and you know it.

I guess people should have been more tolerant of hitler. Those damn hypocrites preaching tolerance, but don't wanna respect nazi beliefs.


Quoting TranquilMind:

 True.  Something liberals despise, as tolerance runs only one way.


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?







IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this

 The Rainbow is a promise from God...

meriana
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM
1 mom liked this

 


Quoting krysstizzle:

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.


True, public schools can limit was is worn, etc. However in this instance the school held a "day of awareness" specifically directed at LGBT people/students. I'm sure students also wore tee-shirts, etc. promoting LGBT issues. If they allow one, they pretty much have to allow the other. Nowhere does the right to freedom of expression say "but only if I agree with you". Bad taste, sure but that's all


 

 

Ravishing_dame
by New Member on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM
1 mom liked this

What's next, I'm going to have to tolerate pedophilia?  To hell with that

parentalrights1
by on Feb. 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM
1 mom liked this


Actually sexuality IS, even if you like to pretend it isn't to suit your agenda.

Either way it doesn't matter. I said INTEGRATION. not RACE. Candlegal said he wasn't necessarily hating on gays, but the concept of marriage. Well integration isn't race itself, but allowing different races to come together at one place.


Quoting TranquilMind:

 Here we go again with the desperate attempt to equate two disparate things and ride that civil rights train where it doesn't go.

Race is an innate characteristic; sexual behavior is not.


Quoting parentalrights1:


What if a kid wore a shirt saying that he doesn't support integration? Would everyone be fighting to protect his precious right to speech then? No.

Quoting candlegal:

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?








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