14 responses

  1. Erica B.
    February 13, 2008

    This is no more appropriate than a white kid wearing a racist t-shirt, or any of the other possible religious examples you mentioned. I can not STAND people who think this way. I’d ask, “what were his parents thinking letting him go out of the house like that” — but since his sister pulled the same shit, they probably helped him put the tape on.

    A side note: Was “Surely they could not disallow” supposed to be “could not allow”?

  2. Lisa Rayner
    February 13, 2008

    I am a supporter of the ACLU, but I am troubled by their interpretation of this incident. While the t-shirt in question is phrased in a general way, it is also clearly a form of harassment aimed at other students. Harassment is not a form of free speech. In addition, people subjected to the speech have the right to avoid it — by walking away, turning off the TV, etc. School is compulsory and students are legal minors who cannot choose to attend a different school without their parents’ approval. Those factors would seem to negate the free speech claim.

  3. Regan DuCasse
    February 13, 2008

    There is a difference between the religious ideology one chooses and the sexual orientation one doesn’t. Those who are Christian are not in any physical danger, do not have their property vandalized or their peace in school disrupted.
    Gay students are at risk of all these things. It would not KILL those children to NOT express themselves exclusively and directly towards gay kids.
    Which it looks like they are targeting alone.
    And why are not these religious children as equally worked up at directing their religious expression at the divorced, adulterers or those who use birth control and are having unmarried sex?
    Why doesn’t the ADF encourage such expression as well?
    Notice that what the Bible also condemns, no one seems to want to confront anyone else, BUT homosexual kids.

    Lesson here people…it’s the discriminatory way in which their ideology is applied AND the selective way of whom they are targeting to express it.
    Perhaps the law isn’t or can’t be applied regarding expression.
    But I would encourage those who want to preserve these kid’s first amendment rights to have at it. Express away, but ONLY if they target EVERYONE their religion also does.

    That is the way the law is supposed to work.
    Unless the ADF is also targeting other laws not connected to homosexuality, I would have more respect for them and their goals.
    But we know what they are doing. Which is what makes their declarations of religious motive ring phony.

  4. Ben in Oakland
    February 13, 2008

    Substitute the word “jew” for the word”gay” and you’ll see what happens.

  5. homer
    February 13, 2008

    You wonder why that group is so obsessed with this. I guess it gets them a lot of attention and money.

  6. Suricou Raven
    February 14, 2008

    How the ADF hopes this will work:

    1. Get the student a right right express his homophobia.
    2. In the process, give all the other students a right to express their support of homosexuality.
    3. Wait for the latter group of students to get beaten up by the former.
    4. Explain that the latter group was disrupting the school by wearing tshirts that would incite others to attack them.

    I know of many cases of dedicated anti-gays physically attacking gay people or those who support them. I know of two cases of the reverse situation, and both of those were in the face of heavy provocation and taunting.

  7. Ostelek
    February 14, 2008

    (*Screams inside)
    The world is broken

  8. tilts_at_windmills
    February 14, 2008

    In defense of the ADF’s position, the T-shirt didn’t target a particular individual and apparently didn’t cause disruption.

    Of course, the student’s opinion is disgusting, but the First Amendment protects disgusting opinions. Some people would take offense at a student wearing a cross on the ground that Christians believe non-Christians deserve to go to Hell, or at a student wearing a headscarf because it symbolizes the oppression of women.

    Yes, the principle put forward by the ADF/ACLU would allow for a shirt calling Catholics idolators, and yes, I’m fine with that (although I doubt the ADF is). Few people would back banning a T-shirt that insults the Republican or Democratic parties. Insults to religion are the same thing.

  9. Erica B.
    February 14, 2008

    @tilts_at_windmills: Insulting religion (or orientation) doesn’t really compare to. In any case, I would back a ban of a T-shirt that said “Republicans should die” or “Democrats are abominations”.

    Children go to school for an education. As Lisa points out, they can’t just leave if disgusting opinions are spoken (or worn) around them. Growing up is hard enough without being forced to endure adult moral/ethical arguments. I’m not suggesting that they can’t understand them, or shouldn’t think about them — but limiting extremist expression in a school setting is something that I fully support.

    Having a conversation after daughter was told in preschool, “Santa doesn’t bring presents to bad children” and explaining she wouldn’t get Christmas presents because she’s Jewish, not because she’s naughty — that sort of cultural confusion I expect, and I can handle. I would hope that any school district we are in has the backbone to prevent any more serious antisemitism, either by teachers or students, from occurring. And if it turns out she likes girls more than boys, they’d better protect her from the homophobes too.

  10. SharonB
    February 15, 2008

    Tilts:
    You need to read the case. There were several disruptions, as the Harpers hoped there would be. Harper was not disciplined for wearing the shirt, merely moved to an area where it was unlikely to provoke other students. There was a history of oppressing GLBT students at the school; several students were in off-campus programs because of the harassment. The school administration went out of their way to accommodate Harper, who was spoiling for some sort of punishment to bring a suit, but the school didn’t take the bait.

    And what has this to do with spreading the good news of the Gospel? Nothing!

    The ADF is a self-promoting, lying hate-group.

  11. Kyle
    June 26, 2008

    There is something seriously wrong with this world. Let the kids wear what they want. They will have to deal with homosexuality in the real world, why should they not experience it early, and get it over with?

  12. paul
    June 14, 2009

    When gay people can have a day of silence and its ok with school officials and everyone else and no one has a problem and considered free speech. But when a person decides to have the day of truth everyone is panicking. You cannnot have total free speech and equality if one agenda is being pushed and another agenda being silenced off. Free speech comes from both sides if it doesnt then we will soon become a nation of chaos. Neither the day of silence nor the day of truth should be in schools but if the day of silence is in schools then the day of truth should have a place in school too.

  13. theresa
    March 21, 2011

    i think that this is really ignorant…at a student who has participated in the day of silence i dont understand the point of opposing it…its not like we’re doing anything to you by not talking…we are simply making a statement…it is not anti-straight day or anything…its just to simplify the struggle of silence that millions of homosexuals go through so that nobody “condems” them…and if you cant respect that then you my dear are going against god.

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