Looking out...

A regular feature that wraps up news items found elsewhere on the web about LGBTQ youth (and some additional randomness):


whateversexual_llama's picture

The one about the court case

The one about the court case actually brings up an interesting debate. Putting aside the fact that I dissagree with the tee-shirt, I do think that it's a case of freedom of speech. I mean, would the kid be persecuted if it weren't the Day of Silence? And later it brings up the idea of religious tolerance. Is that really a fair comparisson? But the argument that a kid would get in trouble if they wore a shirt condemning a religion is true.

Which means I'm not really sure. I think that if a kid can wear a pro-gay shirt, another kid can wear an anti-gay shirt. But then again, I'd call if freedom of speech for a kid to wear a shirt against a certain religion. Sure, I'd be insulted, but it's their shirt. Not mine. I don't think the kid should be persecuted.

Not that I dont' support gayness (I mean, I am gay) or religions that aren't Christianity (I'm Jewish). I'm just thinking...

Then again, does the first amendment apply to public school settings? If not, then it's up to the school administration...

Whatever I did, I didn't do it.

underdarkness's picture

His teeshirt bred hate where

His teeshirt bred hate where the pro-gay teeshirts breed only acceptance. Hate is intolerable in school environments as it only leads to more hate.

- One Nation, Under Darkness, with liberty and justice for white, heterosexual, rich, Christian men

whateversexual_llama's picture

But are there laws against

But are there laws against hate? I don't think there are. I mean, no public school that I am aware of has rules against hating someone. There are rules against violence and talking out of turn in schools, but as long as your hate doesn't physically injure anyone, I'm not sure they can say anything. Sure, morally I'm against the shirt. But I'm not sure if there is any solid legal stuff about not hating. Is there?

I hate to be arguing this side of the debate, but I think someone can wear whatever they want. Nobody's getting sued for walking around on the street in a derogatory shirt, is it any different in a school?

Whatever I did, I didn't do it.

Lol-taire's picture

If some political/ religious

If some political/ religious views can be displayed on clothing then there should be no restrictions on what veiwed can be expressed in this way. The only fair comprimise would be banning any slogans on clothes altogether, as no such policy existed the student was within his rights to wear that t-shirt.

If the Day of Silence is worth participating in and defending (which it seems to me it is), then expression of opposition to it should be permitted.

The moral or rational superiority of one's veiws is not justification for the supression of opposing veiws. If anything the only way in which the moral and rational superioty of a position can be ratified is through open discussion and debate. A good arguement has nothing to fear from opposition. Also, no position is infallible. There are faults and flaws in any position; whether the underlying reasoning itself is false or whether there are problems with the details, expectations or approach to implementation of the idea.

There is a world of difference between a t-shirt that said "kill all faggots" for example and the t-shirt this pupil was wearing. The former is unacceptable because it is intended to be threatening and inflamitory and adds nothing to the debate, whereas this boy was expressing a sincere religious and (by extension in this case) political sentiment.

I know a t-shirt is a crude method of delivering a political statement. But repression stifles debate and kills progress. No one side has the right to employ it, on any scale.

whateversexual_llama's picture

agreed! Whatever I did, I


Whatever I did, I didn't do it.

Campfire's picture

I'm a huge advocate for

I'm a huge advocate for freedom of speech, and indeed a devil's advocate in many debates, so don't get me wrong when I say I agree with his suspension.

Firstly, it was a day of silence in reference to LGBT abuse. As far as I'm concerned 'silence' is a word that includes shouting messages of hate on a t-shirt even if it doesn't produce sound waves. That's purely a technicality. Secondly, the school I assume had agreed upon a day that this would be held and had the full backing of the senior members of staff in the school. Therefore, as with all decisions made by those that run the school, the children are obliged to adhere to the rules. I do believe however that if a student has such objections to the meaning of the day then he has the right to not turn up to school that day. Sometimes we had Christian speakers in our assemblies at school, or went to church for Christmas presentations, and other religious children were allowed to not attend such events, so why can't the same apply here?

One might argue why should this child's education be affected because of gay rights. Well, I say firstly one day off is not going to have any effect on the outcome of his exam results, and also it's probably quite a good balance given how many LGBT youth have days off school at a time because they are so scared of going in due to homophobic bullies like this twat.

What makes me die is if his t-shirt said, "Niggers burn in hell. God says so." Or, "9/11 was our punishment for your sins," his suspension wouldn't have been questioned. But because gay rights are treated like some hippy ideology in America rather than an actual serious issue that has massive, life changing physical and psychological repercussions on those that suffer at the hands of homophobia, everyone's up in arms. Pft.

"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon."
- George Aiken

hebrew freak's picture


i can definitely give a solid argument to prove that public schools are not constitutional and breach certain amendment rights. however, the constitution and it's amendments technically don't apply until you're 18.

*she's the mistake i would always gladly continue making*

Greling's picture

"Free Speech" Only Exists On a Limited Basis in Public Schools

If your school administration can prove that your speech or expression is intentionally disruptive, they can bar you from wearing a shirt or holding up a placard if it means keeping order or preventing a riot from breaking out.

If the student didn't intend to be disruptive, then he'll probably have to explain his intent in picking the oh-so-coincidental Day of Silence in which to wear his controversial t-shirt. Controversy is not illegal, but clearly ill-meant disruptive speech is not protected any more than "fighting words" or yelling fire inside a crowded theater.

College students in public colleges have greater free speech rights than high school students in public high schools. Since high school students are still minors under "temporary parental custody" when they go to school, they are limited as far as their free speech rights are concerned. Yes, minors have free speech rights but not to the same degree as adults.

raining men's picture


The t-shirt was not making untrue claims about homosexuality as the religious example they put was. This was merely stating that he didn't accept it. Yes it is a horrible shirt, but the message was very different to the religious ones they suggested

"Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three (which was rather too late for me)"

whateversexual_llama's picture

But would a shirt saying,

But would a shirt saying, say, "Jews are bad, Bible passage this or that," be any different? I think that anyone is allowed to voice any opinion they want; laws seem to only extend so far as crimes and things... and hatred alone doesn't seem like much of a crime. It's just ignorant and unhealthy.

Whatever I did, I didn't do it.

Shenlong the Arcane's picture

I'm so proud my state is

I'm so proud my state is waking up! Yay Iowa!

the mouse that roared's picture


Censorship never helped anyone. Whether or not it's legal, it's important to hear the opinions you're up against.

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless; there is too much work to do.--Dorothy Day