The problem with civil liberties is that we have to give them to everyone: the ACLU has claimed a Connecticut high school violated a student’s rights to free expression when it told him to remove an anti-gay T-shirt.
On April 20, a day the school designated to raise awareness of LGBT bullying, Wolcott High School junior Seth Groody wore a shirt bearing the image of a rainbow with a slash through it. On the reverse, the shirt bore the message “Excessive Speech Day” beneath a drawing of a male and female figure holding hands.
In a letter to Wolcott principal Joseph Monroe, the ACLU of Connecticut said administrators violated Groody’s First Amendment rights when they forced him to remove the shirt. The civil-rights group asked Monroe to ensure students would be allowed to wear clothes with similar messages in the future.
“We couldn’t agree with Seth less on that issue, but he is absolutely correct about his right to express his opinion,” said ACLU legal director Sandra Staub.