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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 (251-260):
NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:42 PM
1 mom liked this

If you mean public officials, then yes.  If you mean religious officials, then no.  As I understand it, Catholic churches and some conservative Protestant churches often don't "recognize" the sanctity of marriages involving persons who were previously divorced.  They have that right as religious institutions and I haven't seen where there has been any huge push to force them to change their views.  I would contend that public policy should not rely on the narrow definition of some people's religious views of what marriage is and isn't to the exclusion of those who don't hold said religious views.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 I didn't say that the institutions would have to officiate; I said the opposite.

However, officials will be required to recognize what the law calls marriages, whether or not they actually are, is what I sad. 


Quoting Bookwormy:

I'm a Constitutionalist and believe religious institutions will not have to marry anyone they choose not to marry.

This was Huntsman's writing, not mine, FYI. I wish I wrote that well, LOL.

Mama2Spencerninja

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I'm a teacher and married to a teacher.  I happen to know that in MA teachers are very much held accountable for the learning of English/Language Arts, Composition, Math, and Science that the students accomplish by the federal standards set forth in NCLB, despite the liberal social climate of the state.  Whether or not you choose to take me seriously about this is no concern of mine.

Quoting Billiejeens:


Jesus Christ, now I can't even come close to taking you seriously.

Quoting NewMom11222011:

The feds already have standards that hold schools' feet tot the fire over their students learning the "three R's".  It's called No Child Left Behind.  Promoting one day of social tolerance does not mean they have blown academics out of the water.

Quoting candlegal:

You do realize that this stuff is more important in the government run schools, forget the three R's.   They apparently have done so.  Indoctrination  is what it is all about.

Quoting Billiejeens:

WTF is a school system doing promoting a day of Gay awareness in the first place.

The Public School system is not the place for these ideas.

Get a handle on Math, Science and English and stop pushing social agendas on our kids.

Where the hell are all the posters who don't think the classroom setting where our kids are basically held hostage, is a place for social dogma?






Mama2Spencerninja

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:54 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm definitely missing your point about "the pro-Obama" shirt.  I didn't read anything in the OP about such a shirt.  FYI, I am a Republican and didn't vote for Obama, either time.  But I still believe in equal justice for gay men and lesbians, including the right to marry (as long as they are both of consenting legal age to do so).  I also do not recall having said that anyone can't have their own opinion of the issue.  I also don't recall saying he doesn't have the right to wear it, just that it's dismissive and disdainful and that schools have traditionally had the right to monitor expression of students' opinions on their clothing if they think it could cause a safety issue.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 What of those kids whose parents are Republican and didn't vote for Obama? The pro-Obama shirt is dismissive of his parents and their choices as well.    Who cares?  Each person can have his own opinion.  Rainbow boy can wear his shirt, and also no-rainbow boy. 

Now if it says something like "Kill all X (insert group)" then you have a point, and the kid should be told to change his shirt.  Otherwise, people are going to have different political views and you'd better appreciate and support that freedom while it still exists. 

Quoting NewMom11222011:

And what of those kids whose parents are gay and backing gay marriage.  Does not the t-shirt become disdainful and dismissive?  Of course he's allowed to have his belief, but there are all kinds of intolerant beliefs that are not allowed to be displayed on kids' t-shirts in public and/or private schools.

Quoting TranquilMind:

 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.







Mama2Spencerninja

NewMom11222011
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this

You're assuming an awful lot about me based on one thread's exchanges.  I do have core values, one them being that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (Thomas Jefferson).  

Quoting Billiejeens:


I can't be responsible for you not having any core values, I can only be responsible for mine/

Quoting NewMom11222011:

So, it's never a good idea to re-examine what your beliefs are and how they affect others?  This site makes me clarify my beliefs on a daily basis and sometimes to modify them based on evidence presented.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 Nor should it.


Quoting NewMom11222011:

Clearly.

Quoting Billiejeens:

It has not.
Quoting NewMom11222011:

Has it occurred to you that others might find your behavior/attitudes abhorrent?


Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 

Quoting JLo1486:

Good. He does have the right to do so even if many don't agree. I'm tired of people getting trampled on for expressing their own rights.

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

He was not expressing his own rights. He was being disrespectful. of all days to wear his shirt, he chose THAT one. He had 179 other days in the school year to wear that shirt but he chose the One day in which it was a designated day of awareness of harassment toward LBGT students.

I am so sick of people pulling out the constitution as justification for ignorance, prejudice and hate.


 I am so sick of people using my tax dollars to promote the idea that if one doesn't accept abhorrent behavior, then they are the problem.










Mama2Spencerninja

spotsmom
by Member on Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Interesting...don't MOST schools, public or private, "inhibit" free speech with a required dress code? At my high school, we could not wear shirts with any slogan at all, shirts that made political statements were likewise banned. I couldn't even wear a t shirt with the name of my favorite band on it, but this passes muster? The same is true for my neice who's in high school now. How is this shirt, or school, any different? I wonder if I can sue my old school now for unconstitutionally denying me my freedom of speech. I also wonder if this would have even gotten as far as it did if the shirt had had a picture of Martin Luther King with an "X" over the pcture. Worn on MLK day, no less. Or a picture of a cross with an "X" through it around Easter. I wonder.....

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Mar. 1, 2013 at 1:46 AM
1 mom liked this

This kid can wear a hate message, but another child was forced to take off a shirt bearing a cross and our flag in honor of his Marine brother? Yeah. That's totally balanced. Smdh. 

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 2:19 AM
1 mom liked this

Veni, I haven't read through the 260 posts... but the ACLU went to bat for the T-shirt wearer. The school district had said he couldn't wear it... ACLU got involved after the school district told him he couldn't wear the shirt. Your headline is a little off.

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:24 AM
So marriage isn't the cause of evils or perversion in hetero marriage - it's the heterosexuals themselves.

:)


Quoting TranquilMind:

 That's just ridiculous and totally illogical. 


"Marriage" doesn't lead to abuse.  Deviancy on the part of an individual causes him to abuse and victimize others/children/women/whomever.  He could be married or not (i.e. Catholic Church scandal).  The marriage doesn't do or cause anything at all. 


 




Quoting Stephanie329:

For thousands of years, hetero marriage has led to more abuse and victimization of female children around the world, than gay marriage ever could.


Quoting TranquilMind:


 



No, traditional marriage does not lead to any of these, as you well know, and as thousands of years have demonstrated.  Normalizing deviant sexual practices, however, does open the door in ways that will not be restrained over time. 



Quoting parentalrights1:



 



Maybe we just abolish straight marriage. It just leads to gay marriage, child marriage, and beastiality *eyeroll*



This has less to do with the idea of having to condone pedophelia and everything to do with excuses to keep holding gays back. People think gays are icky and that everyone should have to follow christian morals regardless of their own morals and pedophelia is just another strawman argument thrown out there.



Quoting TranquilMind:



 They ARE coming out, objecting to the disdain against their practices.  After all, they were just born that way in being attracted to young bodies. 



 



Quoting Ravishing_dame:



Everyone's claiming they're sexual orientations, so yeah.  I'm told I have to TOLERATE homosexuality.  Since this country is so big on equality, pedophiles are next to come out, telling us to TOLERATE them.  It's bullshit



Quoting romalove:






Quoting Ravishing_dame:



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



Is homosexuality and pedophilia in any way related?



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 




 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Thbear59
by Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:29 AM
1 mom liked this

Good for them.  We should have the freedom to disagree with one another.

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 7:35 AM
I stopped replying to her after being assured that she's trolling the group. The inflammatory comment about your values just proves it further.

Quoting NewMom11222011:

You're assuming an awful lot about me based on one thread's exchanges.  I do have core values, one them being that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (Thomas Jefferson).  

Quoting Billiejeens:



I can't be responsible for you not having any core values, I can only be responsible for mine/


Quoting NewMom11222011:


So, it's never a good idea to re-examine what your beliefs are and how they affect others?  This site makes me clarify my beliefs on a daily basis and sometimes to modify them based on evidence presented.


Quoting Billiejeens:


 Nor should it.




Quoting NewMom11222011:


Clearly.


Quoting Billiejeens:

It has not.

Quoting NewMom11222011:


Has it occurred to you that others might find your behavior/attitudes abhorrent?





Quoting Billiejeens:






Quoting Ms.KitKat:


 


Quoting JLo1486:

Good. He does have the right to do so even if many don't agree. I'm tired of people getting trampled on for expressing their own rights.

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


He was not expressing his own rights. He was being disrespectful. of all days to wear his shirt, he chose THAT one. He had 179 other days in the school year to wear that shirt but he chose the One day in which it was a designated day of awareness of harassment toward LBGT students.


I am so sick of people pulling out the constitution as justification for ignorance, prejudice and hate.




 I am so sick of people using my tax dollars to promote the idea that if one doesn't accept abhorrent behavior, then they are the problem.

















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