An American woman is suing a school after her daughter was forced to remove her pro-life T-shirt.
The mother of the seventh-grader claims her daughter's First Amendment rights were violated.
The girl wore the T-shirt to the McSwain Elementary School, in Merced, California, on "National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day" in April 2008.
The shirt had two graphic pictures of a foetus in the womb, with the word "growing" under the photos. A third box was black, with the word "gone".
The pupil's mum, Anna Amador, alleges that her daughter was approached by the school principal, assistant principal and office clerk and dragged from the school canteen during breakfast, where she was forced to take off her shirt.
This does seem a bit excessive, even if you object to the message on the shirt.
Amador says her daughter was publicly humiliated in front of her fellow students, and none of her classmates had complained about the shirt.
The school district's lawyer, Anthony DeMaria, says the school has a strong defence and disputes several of the mother's allegations.
However the district has admitted they did order the girl to take her shirt off, which they say violated the school's dress code.
This forbids any clothing advertising "inappropriate subject matter".
But Amador's lawyer says the shirt did not have an "inappropriate message".
That's a tricky argument. What's inappropriate? Schools tend to object to anything which is vaguely controversial.
There have been a number of cases in the UK of pupils being ordered to remove religious symbols or clothing.
It's easier for the school if they have a strict uniform policy because they can then just say the item of clothing doesn't comply.
But if children are prevented from expressing political views because they are deemed "inappropriate" what kind of message does that send to our already disaffected youth?
On the other hand, some political messages could be inflammatory, particularly in schools with many different races and religions present. Where do you draw the line?
What do you think? Should schools be free from political messages like this or should students be allowed to express themselves?
Source: [Parentdish US]
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