Lawyers representing a student in the United States who was told to leave school for wearing a t-shirt with a slogan reading ‘There are only two genders’ have launched an appeal.
The principal and school counsellor of Nichols Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts had ordered Liam Morrison a seventh grade student to remove his shirt, but when he declined he was told he couldn’t return to his class. As a result, he left school and missed the rest of his classes that day.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys launched the appeal after a court ruled against the student. They’re asking the US Court of Appeals of the 1st Circuit to prevent the school from prohibiting him from wearing the shirt. Legal counsel for ADF Logan Spena said :
“This isn’t about a T-shirt; this is about a public school telling a middle-schooler that he isn’t allowed to express a view that differs from the school’s orthodoxy. Public school officials can’t force Liam to remove a shirt that states his position when the school lets every other student wear clothing that speaks on the same issue. Their choice to double-down and silence him when he tried to protest their censorship is a gross violation of the First Amendment that we’re urging the 1st Circuit to rectify.”
Once school officials censored his original message, Morrison chose to wear an altered shirt that read, “There are [censored] genders” to protest the fact that only some messages about gender are allowed. He was also told he wasn't allowed to wear this shirt either.
ADF says that in the case, L.M. v. Town of Middleborough, school officials have adopted one particular view on the subject of sex and gender: that a person’s subjective identity determines whether a person is male or female, not a person’s sex. ADF says that school officials admit that their policy permits students to express viewpoints supporting the officials’ view of gender but forbids students from expressing a different view.