Thursday, July 9, 2009

Controversy Over Pro-Life T-Shirt at McSwain Elementary School

I just caught word of this story on O'Reilly Factor. Megyn Kelly argued that the school had previously allowed the student to wear pro-life clothing. But the pictures of the growing fetus were probably too much, considering that small children would be attending the school. What do you think? It was "National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day." Jill Stanek "can't believe Fox called these images graphic'."

The background is here, "
Seventh Grader Sues School Over Right to Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt":

A California mom says her public school administrators violated her daughter's First Amendment rights when they ordered the seventh-grader to take off her pro-life T-shirt.

Anna Amador has gone to court on behalf of her daughter, who she says was ordered by her principal to change her shirt on "National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day." The shirt the girl was wearing displays two graphic pictures of a fetus growing in the womb.

The incident occurred in April 2008 at McSwain Elementary School, a K-8 school in Merced, Calif. Amador alleges in her legal complaint that school Principal Terrie Rohrer, Assistant Principal C.W. Smith and office clerk Martha Hernandez mistreated her daughter and denied the girl her First Amendment rights when they ordered her to leave the cafeteria and change her shirt.

"Before Plaintiff could eat [breakfast] she was ordered by a school staff member to throw her food out and report immediately to Defendant Smith's office, located in the main office of McSwain Elementary School," the complaint reads.

"Upon arriving at the main office, Defendant Hernandez, intentionally and without Plaintiff's consent, grabbed Plaintiff's arm and forcibly escorted her toward Smith's office, at all times maintaining a vice-like grip on Plaintiff's arm. Hernandez only released Plaintiff's arm after physically locating her in front of Smith and Defendant Rohrer ...

"Smith and Rohrer ordered Plaintiff to remove her pro-life T-shirt and instructed Plaintiff to never wear her pro-life T-shirt at McSwain Elementary School ever again ...

Here's this commentary from the Gadsden Times:
The case of free speech in schools goes back to the Vietnam War era, when students wore black armbands, at that time in violation of many schools’ policies. Later, the Supreme Court ruled students could engage in protest as long as it "did not materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school."

The same seems to be true in the case of the girl’s T-shirt. Each day, there are worse, and more distracting, items of clothing worn to school by boys and girls. Sometimes, the distraction comes from a lack of clothing.

But a girl exhibiting her right to free speech, by supporting a cause she believes in — that a large portion of the entire country backs and believes in — should not lead to the girl being forced to change her shirt.


Rusty Walker said...

“…engage in protest as long as it "did not materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school."

So when did Republicans become radicals? Why would parents put children in what is essentially societies’ version of “harm’s way” - because of an adult position on abortion/pro-life.

Those that follow this blog, know that I am a patriotic Republican, and yet this is the kind of judgmental arrogance and extremism that will ensure that we will not be elected to office in the next election.

Keep the children out of it! They will decide on their own time. Are we so obsessive we think we should be sending our kids to school to make OUR point!

shoprat said...

The elitists seem to believe in the same kind of free speech that was protected in the old Soviet Constitution -- free so long as it forwarded the cause of Communism and the state. No other speech was protected.