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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

School bans 'only 2 genders' T shirt: There's only 1 acceptable opinion

Sent home from school for his "only two genders" shirt, Liam Morrison taped "censored" over the words "only two." He was sent home again.

A 12-year-old boy's free-speech rights to say "there are only two genders" on a T shirt is trumped by classmates' rights to feel "secure," a judge has ruled.

Liam Morrison, 12, was sent home from Nichols Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts, was sent home for wearing the "two genders" shirt and again for wearing an altered shirt saying “There are only censored genders.”

The family has appealed.

“This isn’t about a T-shirt; this is about a public school telling a middle-schooler that he isn’t allowed to express a view that differs from the school’s orthodoxy,” said Logan Spena, council for the Alliance Defending Freedom, in a press release. “Public school officials can’t force Liam to remove a shirt that states his position when the school lets every other student wear clothing that speaks on the same issue."

At a School Committee Meeting, the boy stated:

What did my shirt say? Five simple words: “There are only two genders.” Nothing harmful. Nothing threatening. Just a statement I believe to be a fact. I have been told that my shirt was targeting a protected class. Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights? I don’t complain when I see “pride flags” and “diversity posters” hung throughout the school. Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs just as I do. Not one person, staff, or student told me that they were bothered by what I was wearing. Actually, just the opposite. Several kids told me that they supported my actions and that they wanted one too.

Students have free-speech rights at school, as long as their speech is not disruptive, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled during the Vietnam War.

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