Ali Lai, a student at at Maquoketa High School in eastern Iowa, was following in the footsteps of Tennessee’s Cole Gofort when he wore a “I <3 Lady Gay Gay” shirt to school this month. Administrators claim they didn’t know if Ali was being mean spirited or supporting the gays, so the assistant principal told Ali to change or turn his shirt inside out. The superintendent backed up that call.
“I don’t think [the shirt is] inappropriate,” says Ali. Neither does classmate Raina Costello, who organized “Gay Is Okay Day,” where some thirty students planned to wear tees with pro-gay slogans printed on them to counter what she thinks is the school’s crack down on First Amendment rights. (Remember, kids: Schools can play with kids’ free speech rights, but only if they can show exercising expression interferes with a school’s normal activities.)
Ali wore the shirt again to school last week. Administrators didn’t say a word — which is exactly how this story was supposed to turn out.