Poway T-Shirt Policy is “So Gay”

Public schools continue to serve their most vital public function: Teaching kids that they can’t express themselves except in government approved methods. It’s no surprise that a government court just upheld the action of the school in question. From Reuters:

Public schools can bar clothing with slogans that are hurtful, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday in the case of a student who wore a T-shirtsaying “Homosexuality is shameful.”

The 2-1 decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals backed a San Diego-area high school’s argument that it was entitled to tell a student to remove a T-shirt with that message.

The officials were concerned the slogan could raise tension at the school, where there had been conflict between gay and straight students.

The student sued, claiming the school’s dress code violated his free speech, religious freedom and due process rights.

What’s even worse is they are turning the already scary nanny state into a cry baby state:

Writing for the panel’s majority, Judge Stephen Reinhardt affirmed a lower court’s decision against an injunction against the school and said schools may bar slogans believed to be hurtful.

Students “who may be injured by verbal assaults on the basis of a core identifying characteristic such as race, religion, or sexual orientation, have a right to be free from such attacks while on school campuses,” Reinhardt wrote.

“The demeaning of young gay and lesbian students in a school environment is detrimental not only to their psychological health and well-being, but also to their educational development,” Reinhardt added.

Since when did a t-shirt cause harm to one’s “psychological health and well-being”?

I may disagree with the message of the t-shirt, but I don’t go around playing t-shirt message cop. They shouldn’t either. If they can ban this particular message, then they also have the power to ban shirts which read “Celebrate Diversity”, “My gay son beat up your straight son” or “Your straight son isn’t as straight as you think he is”. The next thing you know, this message will be off-limits, too: “Support Free Speech Rights”.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

8 Comments
  1. Oh my God, a court just affirmed the liberal ideal of a “right to not be offended by anyone.”

    Although generally I think even government schools should have some say over dress code, the courts opinion seems to be much broader.

  2. This is exactly why so many schools are mandating school uniforms because they are tired of putting up with stupid shit like this. I personally think that school uniforms until at least High School is a good idea simply due to the fact that it makes for a more professional learning environment instead of being a nursery like most public schools are today.
    I think High Schoolers shouldn’t have to wear uniforms because they need to learn to think for themselves and how to properly express themselves in a somewhat protective environment where mistakes can be more easily fixed and appropriate manners can be learned. Although that will never happen in public schools where the goal is to apparently turn out kids who know how to take a standardized test but have virutely no critical thinking skills. Sadly most of the critical thinking skills I got in High School came from watching PBS and going to Church because sometimes ones views would conflict with the others thereby making me think.

  3. I respect the first amendment aspects of this case but their are qualifiers. Captive/underage audience, need for non-inflamatory/incindiary atmosphere for learning etc. Probably can’t wear “The bible is full of lies” as a shirt either. There is no way to decide this that will stand up to reasoning from either angle. Needless to say, can’t people just mind there own business?

  4. One of many things Ive learned in college as a Speech-Communication major is the concept “while Im responsible for my actions and words, Im NOT responsible for how someone else will react or respond to my actions and words.” After all, how can I control someone else’s feelings? I CANT and I WONT! If you dont like my t-shirt and you b*tch and moan and cry to the police about it, then thats YOUR choice, and not mine and not anyone elses. Furthermore, if you dont like my t-shirt, then too d*mn bad- grin and bear it and look the other way and find something you like. We dont need laws to protect those who are offended or otherwise “feel” threatened by a friggin t-shirt says, much less any other form of media. People need to learn how to develop a thicker skin, to swallow their pride and look the other way, and stop wasting everyone’s time with bullsh*t laws.

  5. A majority of the kids in the district agree with the ruling. I should know, I am the mother of one of them.

  6. This is nothing new. In the 70’s, there was a popular t-shirt slogan that read “Kiss my Bass”, sometimes accompanied by a graphic of a fish. We were warned by offials at my elementary school that wearing one was cause for being sent home.

  7. LiberalMom said, “A majority of the kids in the district agree with the ruling.”

    Living in a democracy means the Majority can force the Minority to shut up if the Majority doesn’t like what the Minority is saying. On the other hand, living in a republic means the Minority can then tell the Majority to go eff itself!

    I agree with Mike G’s comment.