dress code

Dawn Henderson’s ‘Some Kids Are Gay’ Tee Is Too Distracting For Middle School Principal

Dawn Henderson, an eighth grader at De Soto Middle School south of Dallas, dumped her school uniform for a t-shirt — which was perfectly fine with administrators, since she earned the privilege of going casual for a day. But the message on her shirt wasn’t so welcome: “Some kids are gay and that’s o-k,” read the tee. The principal “basically told me he thought it was a distraction,” says Dawn. “My opinion is any shirt can be distracting.” So distracting that she covered her shirt with a zip-up hoodie after administrators got wind. Her mom Emily Wooters, who says she’s likely going to transfer Dawn to her sister’s school after this incident, says, “And with the schools now and how they have to wear their uniforms, [students] need to express their individuality.” They also need to express the fact that being gay is o-k, since it’s clear the principal isn’t helping send that message. (It’s unclear from the news story where Dawn got the tee, but a shirt with that design is available from FCKH8, that dirty word gay apparel outlet. The shirt features a small “FCKH8.com” footer. Update: The video news report makes it clear, the tee is from FCKH8.)

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  • The sane Francis

    The bigots are really doing a number in trying to whitewash our existences. They can’t do that forever. Kids like Dawn will continue speaking out in their own ways. Some people just can’t handle reality.

  • Danny

    This school must not have gotten the memo about the recent federal appeals court ruling that a school must allow homophobic shirts (“be happy, not gay”) in Naperville, IL. If homophobic shirts must be allowed despite being a distraction for gay students, then this shirt must be allowed as well. Sorry, Texas, as much as you want to be your own country with your own rules (and believe me, the rest of us want that too!), you are still bound by federal court rulings.

  • Shannon1981

    There’s no way with the recent ruling that the kid who wore the homophobic tee was allowed that this shirt isn’t allowed too. If the parents of this student take this to court, they must rule in favor of her ability to wear the shirt to school.

  • Dolores

    I just had a daydream about what I would do If I were a kid and saw one of my schoolmates wearing a homophobic t shirt. I’d put signs up around the school, inviting others who were not happy with the t shirt, inviting them to form a small action group (online if necessary) which would be followed by action (such as gay kids and their allies beating up the homophobic kid).

    Sorrry, I know violence isn’t the answer, but imagine it was a racist t-shirt, the kid would be asking to get bashed, so why don’t Gay kids form gangs and bash homophobes? It makes total sense to me.

  • Riker

    @Shannon1981: Unfortunately, the two situations are different. In Dallas, this shirt seems to have disrupted the educational process. According to the standard set by Tinker v. Des Moines (393 U.S. 503) free speech can be limited if it would disrupt school discipline or education.

  • Dawn

    I’m going around and doing this with all the people that wrote about me when this happened.
    Thanks to those who supported me, and thank you to the writers of this article. It really gave me a lot of courage to keep my chin up and ignore the people who were trying to get me to hide who I am.

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