ACLU lawsuit supports students’ right to free speech
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has filed a lawsuit to protect students’ right to free speech in Giles County schools.
The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Richland High senior who was censored by the school system after she wore a shirt to school supporting equality for lesbian and gay people.
The shirt read: “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.”
According to the lawsuit, the school’s principal prohibited the student from wearing that shirt or any other shirt referencing lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender rights because it might provoke other students.
Following the incident, ACLU-TN sent a letter to the school system explaining that schools can only censor student speech when the speech itself – and not other people’s reaction to it – is disruptive to the educational process.