school uniforms

Do These High School Students Understand The Difference Between ‘Straight Pride’ And Calling For Gay Peers To Be Executed?

When students at St. Charles North High School in Illinois decided to take part in Ally Week, dedicated to fighting anti-gay bullying, three students thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to show up at school wearing “Straight Pride” tees with Biblical verses calling for gays to be “put to death” printed on them. Thank goodness cooler heads prevailed and the kids won’t face any punishment!

The three male teens who showed up to school Monday in an anti-Ally Week affront grabbed quotes from Leviticus 20:13 reading, “If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to death.” That was on the back. On the front: “Straight Pride.” Administrators, initially unaware of the verses on the back, ended up asking the students to cross out the scripture with markers because, hey, death threats aren’t cool.

On Tuesday, while others were wearing purple to highlight anti-gay bullying, seniors Steven Boi and Jake Pezzuto showed up also wearing “Straight Pride” tees, sans Biblical quotes. They were asked to cover their shirts with sweatshirts. Both groups of teens complied.

“The reason why we wore the shirts was just to express our views,” says Boi. “People have said Ally Week is for everyone, but after Monday it was clear that it was more designed for homosexual students. We wore our shirts on Tuesday to express our views that we’re straight, and we have the right to express that. But my dean told me on Tuesday, because of the people who wore the other shirts on Monday, our shirts were considered disruptive to the learning environment. To me, Ally Week itself has been disruptive. Instead of learning in class, we have to sit there and talk about all this other stuff that’s happening because of Ally Week.”

As for Pezzuto: “I was shocked. There is clearly a double standard here, and we’re really upset about this. They said the reason we can’t wear ‘Straight Pride’ shirts is because they are disruptive. And I can understand how maybe some people were intimidated by the shirts with the Bible verse. But I don’t understand how some students are able to wear ‘Gay Pride’ shirts while we can’t wear shirts that just say ‘Straight Pride.’ We wanted to wear them because we wanted to raise the fact that we were getting ripped on for supporting our straight sexuality, and also as a way to prove that our school has double standards.”

School district spokesman Jim Blaney knows they’re facing a major gray area between ensuring school order and letting teens exercise their First Amendment rights: “This is the trick in an issue like this. You have to balance one person’s right to free speech to another person’s right to not be offended.” But there could also be a net positive: “While it may have been a little bit controversial at times, the kids at North are talking about this. They are learning about people who might have a different opinion than theirs.”

Meanwhile, with Ally Week continuing through tomorrow, even more students are expected to be showing up in “Straight Pride” shirts (or, Plan B, wear solid black tees) to protest the school’s decision to ban any shirt with those words on them. Match that against a Facebook group — SCN Students Against Bullying at CUSD303 School Board Meeting — encouraging students to attend School District 303’s board meeting next month to voice concerns about the school letting students wear the “Straight Pride” tees at all.

And therein lies the age old dilemma: How to celebrate the culture (and safety) of a minority while trying to also educate the majority that every day is a celebration of their normalization. That’s why “White Pride” shirts are not appropriate attire. And neither are any that calls for the death of an entire group of people. [Daily Herald, Chicago Tribune]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #firstamendment #freespeech #illinois stories and more


  • Aaron

    Somebody obviously has some issues if they actually feel the need to wear “Straight Pride” t-shirts.

    I can’t say that crap like this exactly disproves my “Straight Males are the cause of 70% of societies ills” theory.

  • Kev C

    Straight Pride? More like Toilet Pride. Where’s the bathroom? I’m wearing it!

  • wmcarpenter


  • soakman

    Who gets ‘ripped’ on for their ‘straight sexuality?’

  • Josh

    Unfortunately, these students have a constitutional right to express their views. The school could, however, likely implement a dresscode prohibiting hateful symbols or statements from being worn on school grounds. Things like this, and all the “God Hates Fags” bullshit demonstrations make me start to see the wisdom in the Canadian version of free speech rights – your right to freedom of speech ends where another person’s right to freedom from discrimination begins.

  • MakesYouWonder

    See I don’t have a problem with someone celebrating their ‘straightness’ a little frivolous considering they don’t have to go through the same trials we do, but nonetheless it’s their right. However when you put those particular bible quotes it seems to become an entirely different issue altogether. That’s not supportive in any way in my opinion, it becomes a message of intolerance based on religious reasoning.

  • KiomainNY

    The Jake Pezzuto kid has a myspace link to a page where he wrote “create a condom and call it a riot shield”….fantastic role modeling of Christian values, ey? Hate should NOT be tolerated folks. It should not be ignored, encouraged, or sensed with…it has no reasoning and demands being combated with, otherwise progress is stagnent. Speak up and speak out to everyone you know about the injustices of homophobia plaguing our society but worse, our schools for our kids!

  • Mike.C.

    Virtually every school in the nation has a dress code that does NOT allow hate speech or distraction in clothing. Wearing a shirt to show support for gays, support for our troops, support in general is far worse than wearing a shirt that calls for the killing of a group or backs it up with Biblical verses. It’snot a double standard. There is positive in being FOR something and distraction, hate and ill will in being against something. These kids obviously have gorillas for parents and are crying out for attention because mommy and daddy suck at their job. Hope the community really rallies together and fights them to make a statement..loud and clear. This is exactly what we’re fighting against.

  • Pip

    I can only imagine how hard it is for straight kids to go day by day without killing their gay peers.

  • Sarah

    I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but if they wore shirts that strictly said ‘Straight Pride’ I wouldn’t be offended by it. It’s just about the same thing when I wear my ‘Gay Pride’ shirt. But, my shirt doesn’t have a bible verse that calls for the death of a whole minority. Now, if my shirt said, ‘I’m gay, straights should die’ I’d understand. And this is technically what their shirts are saying the reverse, kill the gays, on a week meant to put the fact that homosexuals are targets of a lot of abuse. I’m okay with them expressing religion, but not when it hurts other people.

  • why do i need a name omg

    the real tragedy of this is the comments on the daily herald article about this issue. From people in the community. I didn’t realize outright bigotry was so rampant in Illinois.

  • why do i need a name omg

    And I think the straight pride shirts themselves are offensive. Maybe they shouldn’t be asked to take them off, I don’t know, but I think wearing them is a douchebag thing to do. At least it would allow me to avoid them from long distances.

  • why do i need a name omg

    Like for example this comment by some asshole:

    “the weeklong event she helped plan was geared against bullying of any form. ”
    As she engages in bullying ‘straight pride” students and all other student citizens’ constitutional rights.
    Harshbarger is CLEARLY is full of hate, rage, intolerance, and bigotry of other students who don’t conform to her views.

    And this one:

    If Gay Pride shirts are allowed to be worn then Straight Pride shirts must be allowed.
    It’s funny how those in authority have given minorities more rights than the majority on most issues. It’s ALL ABOUT control and pushing their agendas and desires and those desires of the powers over them. Control the majority and you can do what you want.
    It’s good that the ACLU will be there to monitor this.

    I MEAN REALLY??! It’s insane. I knew they would probably be like that I don’t know why I went to read them anyway.

  • Mary

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… wearing a straight pride shirt makes as much sense as wearing a ‘blue eyed pride’ or ‘I have a penis and not a vagina pride’ shirt. When you are persecuted for being born just the way you are you can wear a shirt… until then, fuck off.

  • w4rpz0ne

    “You have to balance one person’s right to free speech to another person’s right to not be offended.”

    Bullshit. Nobody has the right to not be offended, because anybody can take offense at any thing. That idea flies in the face of the First Amendment. I understand his desire to keep order in school, but the otherwise bigoted kids with the “Straight Pride” shirts were correct; the school is maintaining a double standard.

    …and before somebody tries to chime in calling me a homophobe, I’m a huge LGBTQ activist.

  • Scott Macustess

    @why do i need a name omg: Don’t be shocked, the TRUTH of the matter is most hetrosexuals are anywhere from uncomfortable to outright militant in their hate toward us. Accepting hetrosexuals are the exception, not the rule, and that is a matter of fact. That’s why it’s upsetting to see and hear of gay people fighting amongst themselves, being rude to one another or not hiring one another- yes, I’m of the belief that if you have two equally qualified people and one happens to be gay and one happens to be straight, I’d hire the gay individual as an employer and I say that knowing many people in LGBT who can NOT find any work in some states in our country because they are identifiably gay. They are qualified beyond belief and miss the job to a complete utter mess who happens to share the same values as the Conservative employer. It happens all the time, all across our country, hence why I’m proud to employ 8 LGBT individuals in my company. Kind, hard working individuals who get each other and appreciate one anothers struggles. Anyhow, the point is to have more unity amongst each other as a community because in this day and age, not all hetros are our friends and whats worse is some gay people (usually the ones who use terms like “str8 acting”) who buy into hetro elitism, and genuinly feel lesser than based on being told they are lesser than. Sad cycle. But must be broken to ensure full equality for all, sooner than later.

  • Allen Jones

    As a former Bible study teacher to teenagers, I had the pleasure of answering the difficult questions. Here is how I answered the question concerning the bible scripture in question here:

    Leviticus 18: 22 is where you will find Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Deuteronomy 21: 18-21 says if you have a stubborn and rebellious son, he shall be stoned to death. Judges 21: 20-21 instructs the soldiers (children of Benjamin) to “lie and wait in a vineyard” and when women came out for an annual dance the soldiers were to snatch them up for wives. These three events happened thousands of years ago according to history at approximately the same time.

    That was the custom under Moses and we live under a different custom today. The young people who wore the “Straight Pride” T-shirts would not believe in putting to death rebellious teens now would they? So why condone putting to death homosexuals both were orders of Moses at the same time KIDS!

  • Technomancer

    I’ve no problem with “Straight Pride” shirts. However, death threats in the guise of religious texts are not just “Straight Pride”. That these students can’t fathom that is the most disturbing bit about it.

  • prohomo

    So these straight hypocrites are oppressed by gay pride?! It’s straight males who are the leading cause of gay suffering (all suffering, actually) and these bastards just stand back and think “poor me straight guy”???! How outrageous, really. I would love to straight bash them to give them a taste of their own vile medecine. Evil bastards. As if they follow the Bible themselves. Hypocrites.

  • J.CinATL

    @w4rpz0ne: Hah! a huge LGBT activist who will always side against PRINCIPLE! Gay kids are killing themselves all throughout our country and you are encouraging other kids wear shirts that read that we gays should be murdered? You religious zealots and religion in general are the WORST thing that happened to this world.
    Gays…ENOUGH with playing Mr.Nice Guy. It is NOT getting us anywhere. Stand up, get loud, get in their faces (like w4rpzone) and demand respect. Don’t ASK for respect. We have gotten this reputation for being “fun” and “kind” and “funny”…enough of that bullsh8t! It’s time for gays to be seen as intimidating, threatening, angry and even villans. I’d rather be a villan than a victim which is what people like w4rpzone want. For our backs to be cornered in a wall, to NOT stand up for injustice, and let *HATE SPEECH* fly by. Not in my country. NOT with my gay brothers and sisters dying in cold blood.

  • Soupy

    The day that a straight kid is bashed by gay bullies will be the day that I wear a straight pride shirt.

  • Scott Macustess

    A gay activist who views no disturbance of a shirt that reads we should put people, in this particular case gay people, to death. Moreover, wear that shirt in an educational institute in a time when gays are being bullied to death? Moreover even, you equate wearing a gay pride/ anti bullying shirt in support of respect for all to that of a shirt that reads for the killing of gay folks and you peg yourself as a “huge” activist for us?

    Being an activisit is not a matter of showing up to events and collecting money, it’s believing in the content of your heart what it is you are striving for. Your desire to see matters with a legality POV as opposed to placing yourself in that daily hardships of gay youth tells me your being a “gay activist” is a self serving title you coined for your self serving frame of mind

    I sincerely hope you find the peace you so clearly are in dire need of. To not find anything disturbing in the shirt those kids proudly boast in this climate is disturbed in and of itself, to back it up with being a fabricated gay activisit is vile; for those of us who invest every fiber of our being to be real activists and not side with the glaringly clear hate monger in incidents like this, all while being sure to stamp an activist sticker on our chest.

  • NikiMinajfan4life

    @w4rpz0ne: you need some serious reading comprehension buddy. the kids you’re defending wore a shirt that said on it “…and shall surely be put to death.” you do realize all schools have dress codes right?? I just graduated high school but 2 years ago some girl in our school got suspended for refusing to take off a shirt that had a picture of Marilyn Manson with fangs and blood gushing out off. she showed up to school, faculty asked her to change and she refused and got suspended. oh, and that was in Long Beach, right outside Los Angeles. if we wore a shirt calling for the death of any group, our teachers would have us sent to the prinicpals office real quickly.
    i agree, there’s difference between wearing a shirt for gay pride and a shirt that makes a quote about people being put to death. that would not fly by at my school, so its no surprise they told em to take it off.

  • NikiMinajfan4life

    Jake Pezzuto facebook page isn’t totally Christ like. check it out for yourself, half that sh*t he wrote doesnt sound very Christ like to me. dumbass foo lookin for attention from the press.

  • w4rpz0ne

    @J.CinATL: I’m not sure where in what I said you found me siding against principle, nor did I say I support the death threats that were (correctly) crossed out, disrespect homosexuals, call for victim-hood, etc, so let’s not conflate what I actually said with your warped interpretation.

    What I said was, not allowing the “Straight Pride” shirts to be worn (not the absurd religious death threats) is upholding a double standard, which is correct. I never said I agreed with it; I don’t in the least. The double-edged sword of free speech is that you don’t get to censor speech with which you disagree. Sometimes that free speech sucks, but the consequences for denying free expression are much worse.

    @J.CinATL: Being an “activist” is not “collecting money”; it’s writing your congressmen/women to remove DOMA and DADT, it’s passing out information and discussing and debating with others, it’s confronting those who support discrimination and suppression, and using scientific fact to refute the baseless suppositions promoted by organizations like NOM, all of which I’ve done.

    That said, of course I find the shirts disturbing; they are. The kids still have the right to wear them, though. They should be confronted, discussed with, given correct information and personal testimony, but not censored.

  • Robert in NYC

    That they put a Leviticus quotation on their shirts has more to do with provoking, taunting and intimidating gay students. Its nothing more than supporting hatred and its a form of bullying. I wouldn’t mind betting their parents put them up to it. Nobody comes into this world homophobic, its learned behavior, usually emanating from the home and religious cults. Why would any straight student want to proclaim his sexual orientation when he or she isn’t subject to discrimination of any kind and have an automatic birth right to marry the one they love, while we don’t? THey will never be outnumbered so why the need to say it?This is nothing more than veiled homophobia. How would straight students like it if gay students wore something bearing a derogatory comment about straights or religious bigots? This is nothing to do with the double standard either. Straights NEVER have to worry about discrimination, ever.

  • John k.

    “straight pride” by itself = constitutionally protected free speech. Death threat, whether through a Bible verse or not = disruptive, proscribable speech.

  • Blake J

    Even without the bible quoted death-threat, wearing a straight pride T-shirt is not done with positive intentions!

    I would like to go to every online article, etcetera about rape, murder, etcetera and write “STRAIGHT PRIDE”!

  • pete

    Ah, here we go again. Those boys who started all this are most likely closet cases. Why else would they feel so threatened?

  • Bareback Cuntessa

    @Aaron: Only 70% Straight white males are the root cause of roughly 99.44% of the world’s major problems. A bunch of whiny assholes upset about their tiny, tiny penises. Meanwhile, we gays with our big swinging meat don’t have their sexual hangups and manage our way through life without being so damned afraid of people who are different from us. Like women.

    Oh, and there’s one good thing about the “Straight Pride” T-shirts (the ones without the Levitican bullshit– those shirts are vile and the wearers should be uniformly shot dead on the spot): At least you know who the closet case dumbshits are in a crowd.

  • Hat

    One of the thugs says he knew it would intimidate (gay) people. They did this to provoke scare tactics and bully, that quote reveals it! So the school did the exact right thing by eliminating bully tactics which school districts should NOT stand for in these times. Allowing kids who admitedly know and reveal to being bullies is allowing bullying itself, which is not in the best interest of any school.
    These thug gimmick = Epic FAIL!

  • Jimmy Fury

    @Scott Macustess: What a long winded and entirely pompous little tirade.

    Who exactly are you to declare who gets to be a an activist and who doesn’t? Who are you to bypass someones words and attempt to tell them what their intent is?
    w4rpz0ne is right. The straight pride shirt, not the bible verse version, should be treated like the gay pride shirts.
    Taste, respect, and intention are not things we can regulate or base regulations on.
    Why they wore them is irrelevant to the fact that they have the right to wear them just as much as the gay and supportive kids have the right to wear their shirts.

    Equality is equality and must be unconditional.

    All issues must be viewed rationally, or as you put it from the “legality POV.” To do otherwise is to invite injustice.

  • Jay

    I’m from Illinois. People in Illinois are stupid.

    “Straight Pride” is the same thing as “White Pride”. It’s a ridiculous backlash from a minority trying to establish themselves against the overwhelming majority.

    They’re ignorant, don’t bother wasting thought on them.

  • ewe

    There is no reason for “straight pride”. Being heterosexual is celebrated every day in every kinky distorted and yes loving way as well each and every day. Open up a magazine, a television show, an internet advertisement, a park bench… The list goes on infinitum. People do not understand the principle behind Gay Pride.

  • Sam

    “Straight Pride” is protected by the First Amendment. Death threats, even ones couched in Bible verses, are not. The school was correct in the first instance, but wrong in the second.

    The students were morons all the way ’round…

  • Devon

    America needs hate speech laws, similar to the ones already in place in most of the western world, and it needs them sooner rather than later.

  • prohomo

    @Blake J: Exactly, well said!!

  • w4rpz0ne

    @Devon: I cannot stress enough how untrue I believe that statement is.


    What is hate speech? Gay bashing, of course. But what about religious dissent? Government dissent? Is hate-speech simply speech that is deemed offensive to the majority? Then, at different times, proclaiming that unequal treatment of women or of non-whites was wrong, or exclamations of gay pride, would constitute hate speech.

    For progress to continue, ideas and speech must remain unfettered! Criminal actions should be punished, but we must never criminalize ideas, which is exactly what hate speech laws do. It is one of the few things that America has actually done, and continues to do, right.

  • samthor

    if it just said “straight pride”, i’d ignore it.
    BUT it advocates KILLING gays on the back.
    death threats should be over the line….

  • Jen

    I don’t see the “straight pride” message being any different than “white pride.” The kids may be too naive to realize it; someone should explain it to them.

  • Robert in NYC

    w4rpz0ne, you said we must “never criminalize ideas”. How do you respond to someone who had the idea to kill someone they hate so much, maybe someone you know? What if you heard or were told that someone was going to blow up a building or plant a bomb somewhere. Would you not call that hate and would you defend that person’s right to express his or her ideas even if what they were saying actually came to fruition?

  • nineinchnail

    Kinda scary when you think that the US is supposed to be the leader of the ‘Free World’ when clearly there is so much backward sentiment when it comes to anyone who isnt a heterosexual Christian Fundamentalist with 2.5 kids awife and a golden retriever. Scary scary America!!

  • Aaron

    @nineinchnail: I take it you’ve never been to America, have you? Homophobia is everwhere, and just as institutionalized in places like the U.K., Canada, Brazil, etc. However, if you want a true Homophobic state, go to Serbia. Or better yet, Iran or Uganda.

  • w4rpz0ne

    @Robert in NYC: You’re conflating two distinct ideas; I’ll try to explain.

    Hatred, as far as free speech is concerned, is just peachy. You can hate people, objects, circumstances, justly, righteously, out of spite, it doesn’t matter.

    Threats, such as saying you’ve planted a bomb, are different. Why? They violate the “harm principle”, because not acting on the threats can directly lead to physical harm of others, for instance if the bomb threat happened to be real. Proscribing the death of others, such as did the Bible verse on the shirt, could motivate others to cause harm. While in a somewhat gray area, I believe it falls before the harm principle enough that the school was correct to cross the verses out.

    You might say “but ‘hate speech’ is harmful to others, as well”, and you’re probably correct (what is known as the “offense principle”). Why “hate speech” cannot be criminalized, though, is because the offense taken by the victim is subjective, based on the victim’s views, morals, religion, etc. So, while a Bible verse denigrating homosexuality might be offensive to you or I, calling that same verse wrong, evil or outdated could be offensive to the people who believe the Bible to be true.

    For a better example, look up Asia Bibi, who is about to be put to death in Pakistan for “insulting Islam’s prophet”; the case perfectly demonstrates why hate speech should not be criminalized.

  • Danny

    HAND OUT THE MORON AWARDS!!! You put a verse calling for death ON THE BACK. Putting aside that it is pathetic to quote an archaic book that supports slavery, did they put it on the back for a reason. Is that so when people read it, and they are a straight friend or family member whose lost a gay friend or family member to suicide, they can come up behind you and smash you in the head with a brick, stab you in neck, or shove you down the stairs in revenge. What idiot puts something like that on a shirt, much less on the back. They deserve the Darwin Award for idiocy.

  • Matt S

    The kids should be allowed to wear shirts that say “straight pride.” They should not be allowed to wear shirts that advocate harming anyone. That’s a no-brainer.

    They also should be sat down and made to understand the difference between the two kinds of shirts. People who wear “gay pride” shirts are saying, “It’s ok to be me.” These people wearing the “straight pride” shirts are saying, “It’s not ok to be you.” Big difference there.

  • Robert

    Once again, two wrongs don’t make a right. The kids with the Bible verse suggesting gays should be put to death were disruptive haters…but to simply have a “straight pride” shirt without the Bible verse should be O.K.

    And to Queerty: guess what? “white pride” is O.K. When are far-left liberals going to realize there is something called reciprocity? Being proud of what you are is OK, not putting others down. But to say you can’t wear “straight pride” shirts is to fall into a trap. The best thing to do is to ban the Bible-hate verses, but if a shirt has only positive messages, that should be OK.

  • tallskin2

    Matt S- spot on. Correct. One is a symbol against oppression, the other a symbol supporting oppression.

    Context is all

    Shame Robert cannot understand that.

  • w4rpz0ne

    @tallskin2: Except that you cannot rule on the basis of context, because context is (more accurately, the connotations you derive are) subjective. Or would you prefer that all speech issues are resolved on the basis of -your- context?

  • nazani14

    Could I wear a t-shirt quoting some of the other “abominations” from Leviticus, such as eating shellfish? How about a shirt advocating that people who don’t keep the sabbath holy, or who disobey their parents should be killed? That’s in the Bible, too.

  • Soupy

    The shellfish lobby would stop that one dead in its tracks.

  • robert in nyc

    Well, if in schools there were no overt gay students or none were perceived to be gay, would these same students have worn a t-shirt emblazened with their message? It seems to me that they were aware of gay students around them and I would construe it was done for no other reason but to taunt. Do we see adult straights walking around on the street with the same t-shirts? NO!

    Nazani14, I’m in full agreement with your statement! Actually, the Fred Phelps sect use placards saying “Fags must die” and “God hates fags”. Is it no wonder we’re seeing a spike in teen suicides and bullying? Those ideas send the wrong message that its ok to go out and bash or kill us. If those placards displayed racist or anti-semitic statements, there would be public uproar and condemnation. I find it ironic that shouting “fire” in a theater is illegal yet denigrating an entire group of people, even if it incites violence against them is acceptable to some who post on here because ideas espousing violence should not be criminalized. What it does is promote homophobia and violent often fatal crimes against us.

  • Clay Boggess

    The ‘straight pride’ students have a right to wear the shirt except it would have been more appropriate for them to express their views without the verse on the back.

  • robert in nyc

    No 53, Clay Boggess, but if as I’d said in a previous post there were NO gay students in their school for the sake of argument, would these same three students have worn such a t-shirt with or without the religious quotes? What would have been the reason for wearing them in the first place in this context? They’re already straight, so why would they need to display it on a t-shirt. It seems there was an ulterior motive. They knew it would annoy gay students? What logical reason would there then be to wear such a t-shirt if there were none. What are they trying to prove and to whom? Its nothing more than gay-baiting, learned behavior, probably coming from their homes. Nobody comes into this world hating or denigrating anyone.

  • w4rpz0ne

    @robert in nyc:

    A technique to test the soundness of an argument is to reverse the positions while maintaining the logic. Let’s examine yours:

    “They’re already straight, so why would they need to display it on a t-shirt.” I’m fairly certain most gay pride shirt wearers are already gay. So?

    “They knew it would annoy gay students?” A gay pride shirt may annoy straight students; it doesn’t matter. You don’t have the right to not be annoyed.

    “What logical reason would there then be to wear such a t-shirt if there were none.” Begging the question, aren’t we?

    “What are they trying to prove and to whom?” How does that factor into the legality of a shirt?

    Our country is based on the freedom to express ideas that others may find disagreeable; it’s a birthright that you use, for granted, every day. While you are in no way inclined to respect their position, I hope you will one day respect to their to express it, so that their ideas can be weighed in the public market of ideas. After all, it is only through this right that homosexuality has come to be accepted.

  • Susan


    While I agree with you that everyone has a right to an opinion & free speech, etc., these children were clearly calling for the DEATH of other students. THAT’s the difference. Their shirts weren’t just saying, “I’m proud of who I am,”, they were also saying, “I hate you people & think you should die.” In a school, this is unacceptable. In the public workplace, it would be unacceptable as well. So making these kids take off the shirts isn’t “denying them free speech”, it’s making them conform to basic human standards of public interaction.

  • DR

    I’m siding with the shirts. Sadly, the kids who wore them were right, “Ally Weeks”, “Days of Silence”, et al, aren’t to create dialogue at all. Kids are expected to sit around, nod their heads in agreement, whether they agree or not, or else we have the case at Howell where dissent is met with “get out of my classroom, you’re suspended”.

    I’m getting tired of schools believing they have the right to indoctrinate students on social issues without dissent. That’s not what schools are for. That doesn’t teach critical thinking, it forces groupthink.

    @Matt S:

    People say that every day is “straight pride day”, but for the most part, issues of sex and sexuality are not discussed in-depth in the classroom except for the occasional sex-ed class. Ally week (days, hours, whatever) brings the issue of human sexuality up in a context rarely seen in mainstream classes. These kids are right, “Ally Week” is not meant for everyone. And it should be. Celebrations of sexual diversity aren’t just for the gay kids, or the bi kids or the trans kids. But that’s what they’ve become. Not cool in an academic setting.

    Dissent is good. Dissent is necessary for any dialogue. Pride in who one is is healthy. Even if that doesn’t jive with your own pride. GLBT people cannot demand pride at the cost of the suppression of everyone else’s.

    @robert in nyc:

    Phelps and clan DO have anti-Semetic placards. On several occasions they have protested in front of synagogues. And they got LESS of a response, not more, than when they wield the anti-gay ones. The only reason they got attention in NYC? They were physically assaulted by a prominent Jewish politician.

    As for your comments about spikes in suicide, I call “foul”. Sanitizing the world of dissent and criminalizing every bad word isn’t producing emotionally healthy kids, it’s producing a nanny state where citizens become dependent on the police and the government and other authority figures to ensure no one says any bad words. That’s not a healthy state in which to live (unless emotional fragility is the goal), IMO.

  • w4rpz0ne


    Se my earlier posts; I specifically differentiated between the bible verse, which violates the Harm Clause of the 1st Amendment, and the “Straight Pride” on the front, which does not.

Comments are closed.