A group of students in a Dallas-area middle school were told they could not wear t-shirts that said “Gay O.K.” in support of a student who had recently come out as gay and was being bullied by some of his classmates. The school says it was trying to control possible disruptions.
At least two McKinney middle school students were sent home Wednesday, and several others were told to cover up their “Gay O.K.” message they wore emblazoned on their T-shirts.
The shirts were worn as silent support for a Faubion Middle School seventh grader who recently came out and, as a result, was bullied by other schoolmates…
“Being gay is OK. And it is OK to be open about it,” said classmate Anna Thompson, who was one of at least 15 Faubion Middle School students who wore the “Gay O.K.” shirts to school.
Thompson told NBC 5 she was approached by an administrator about the shirt almost as soon as she walked in the door Wednesday morning.“[He] came up to me and said that he doesn’t believe this message is school appropriate,” Thompson said…
“We were doing perfectly fine until lunch,” said Sammy Heiman, a seventh grader who designed the shirts. “And then [the administration] called us all out, all the people wearing them, called us out of the cafeteria. And people started getting rowdy because they knew what was going on. They were making us take off the shirts.”
Now here’s what I find particularly interesting about this. If the t-shirts were anti-gay rather than pro-gay, all of the big Christian right legal groups would be screaming about persecution and lining up to represent those students to file a lawsuit. None will do so here. But the ACLU would gladly defend the students in both cases, as they did with the Tyler Harper case in Poway schools near San Diego a few years ago. The liberal legal group will defend the right to free expression whether they agree with it or not; the conservative legal groups care only about the rights of Christians.