School Uniforms & Dress Codes:
Opinions and Arguments
Religion and Culture
Gender & Sexuality (GLBTQ)
Results & Outcomes (Studies,
Tips for Lobbying
Gallery of Fashion
Links to Other Districts
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Pauline's Home Page
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This Web Page by Pauline Harding for Art Nurk.
Contents may be copied if credit is given.
Sues Over “Lesbian Barbie" Shirt Ban
“A New York teen-ager alleged…that teachers violated her civil rights when
they suspended her from school for wearing a "Barbie is a Lesbian"
T-shirt. Lawyers who filed a
lawsuit on her behalf in Manhattan federal court said 14-year-old Natalie
Young is openly lesbian and that a teacher laughed at her, calling the
garment and its reference to the popular Barbie doll
Young alleged that the principal held her for three hours in an office at the
school in the borough of Queens on April 10, 2002 and refused to allow her to
return to class while she wore the T-shirt…."Schools cannot legally
engage in this type of selective, content-based suppression of speech,"
lawyer Dan Perez said. "If
she had worn a 'Barbie Supports the Troops in the War in Iraq' T-shirt, she
would have been called a patriot."
Perez said that on another school day before the T-shirt incident,
teachers made Young remove rainbow colored beads from her hair, although she
was not suspended then…”
"Straight Pride" Incident
This one has
implications for all "majority pride" types of incidents. It is a
classic First Amendment vs. Group Safety vs Values & Religion (whose?)
issue. If you're looking at dress codes as part of a school debate, or are
using dress codes to teach about free speech, this is a great case study.
I've included several links so that you can see this issue from a variety of
AFA Issues: Homosexual Agenda -
In the student's own words.
"On Tuesday, January 16, I wore my "straight pride" shirt
to school and got called into the Assistant Principal's office. She said that
a girl had come into her office complaining on behalf of other
"gay" and "lesbian" students who were
"offended" by my shirt. The AP said she wasn't banning the shirt,
but wanted to warn me that people were offended by it and that she would be
talking to the principal about it. And that he might actually put the kabosh
to the shirt. Sure enough, the next day, the Principal called me into the
office and said that my shirt was offensive to the "gay and
lesbian" students and banned me from wearing it anymore."
"Straight Pride" Bully Doesn't
Get It (GLSEN News-Press)
This article is from the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.
guessing that Chambers hasn't yet grasped that his hamhanded effort makes him
appear the fool. Right now, he must think he's the man. ...What he doesn't
get yet is the fact that declaring "Straight Pride" in a world in
which heterosexuality dominates isn't courage, but overkill. It's wielding a
sledgehammer against a push pin... Under a strict definition of free speech,
he has every right in the world to wear such a shirt. But he looks silly.
Woodbury, Minnesota Highschool
Bans Student's Straight Pride Sweatshirt [Free Republic]
"Elliot stated that he wore the sweatshirt one day to school as a
way of celebrating his heterosexuality. ...The school policy states that any
clothing worn by a student that is offensive to another student, is not
allowed and that is why they asked him not to wear it again. ...a homosexual
student at Woodbury High School, who evidently also leads a Christian Bible study
at his school...stated that Elliot attends his Bible study where a heated
discussion led to an argument about gay pride. He feels that Elliot was
"poking fun" at gay pride by wearing the shirt"
Student Sues School Over Ban of
'Straight Pride' Sweatshirt
"The center is challenging the constitutionality of the school's
policy, which, according to DePrimo, says: "Students may not wear items
with unacceptable writing or graphic depictions, which offend anyone or
distract from the educational experience of students at Woodbury High School.
Unacceptable writing or graphic depictions are those, which are commonly
accepted as vulgar, obscene or socially demeaning or derogatory." DePrimo
said, "And it's our position that his sweatshirt does not fall into that
category." Stephen M. Crampton, chief counsel for the center, said:
"This is a case of classic viewpoint discrimination. The school has
chosen to openly embrace homosexuality and bisexuality, and it does not
welcome dissenting points of views. What is especially troubling is the
school's open hostility toward student support of committed man-woman
below are out-of-date - I'll try to find the stories again and update this
when I can.
SCHOOLS HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL KIDS
WHAT TO THINK
A different take on the same incident, from the New York Post.
Student Sues to Express Straight
Yet another viewpoint, this one from Planet Out.
Sweatshirt's Message Is Subject of
And this one from Reuters.
More incidents involving Gender
Teen Protests School's Refusal To
Let Him Wear A Dress
a 15-year-old sophomore who is gay, has been the subject of a storm of
attention and controversy for several days because he has showed up at school
in a dress. School administrators have repeatedly sent him home, sparking
protests among approximately 100 students who cut classes. Some students have
also expressed their support by wearing drag themselves. The Times-Argus
reports cases of boys wearing pink lipstick and girls in button-down shirts
debate about gay rights
"At first, Peters came to school wearing buttons on his backpack. One
had intertwined symbols for men. Another read "Because I'm Gay, That's
Why." Another favorite from Peters' closet: a "Sorry Girls, I'm
Gay" T-shirt. Administrators asked Peters to remove those pins and to
cover the T-shirt. This made Peters mad. So, the self-described activist and
agitator thought: "If you want to see gay, I'll show you gay."
That's when he strolled into school swathed in black velvet."
Virginia School Bars
Senior from Graduation for Wearing Pants
"Jennie Smith, 17, doesn't understand why she can't participate
in her school's graduation ceremony with the rest of her class simply because
of her clothing preference.
Lesbian Named Prom King (WA)
Other Resources for GLBTQ Issues
If you are
interested in learning more about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and
Questioning teens, you may find these pages useful.
For more news about gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered
youth in schools (not just clothing issues), visit the excellent GLSEN News-Press site.