Teens rights restored to wear anti-abortion shirt

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jimnyc, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. jimnyc
    Offline

    jimnyc ...

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    10,113
    Thanks Received:
    244
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    New York
    Ratings:
    +246
    Teen's right to wear sweatshirt is restored

    NEWPORT NEWS -- A Denbigh High School student prevented from wearing an anti-abortion sweatshirt in school last month by a school administrator now can wear it after a Michigan law center raised the possibility of a lawsuit.

    An assistant principal told Daniel Goergen on Feb. 18 to remove the sweatshirt or turn it inside-out. Printed in white letters on the front of the black, hooded sweatshirt are the words "Abortion is homicide." The back reads "You will not silence my message / You will not mock my God / You will stop killing my generation."

    "It was kind of irritating, it was bringing me down a little," Goergen said of the assistant principal's decision. "I respected (the assistant principal's) opinion and did what she said because she's an administrator. Then I got a lawyer to explain to her the right for me to wear it."

    Many students at the school have shown support for his actions, he said.

    In response to a letter from the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Chief Deputy City Attorney Leonard Wallin sent a letter March 12 informing Goergen's lawyers that he could wear the sweatshirt at school.

    Wallin, who represents the school division, said based on the details of the case presented to him, Goergen was within his rights to wear the sweatshirt. He added that these types of situations must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    "The fundamental question is whether or not wearing some garment with a message on it is going to create a disturbance, an immediate disturbance," Wallin said. "If there isn't a reasonable belief that it's going to create a disturbance (school officials) can't ban the message even if they turn out to be wrong after the fact."

    The law center requested a response from the school system by today, or else the Goergen family could file suit in federal court, according to its letter.

    When he went to Denbigh High on Feb. 26 to ask why his son could not wear the sweatshirt, Martin Goergen said he was shown the derogatory written materials section of the student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

    It says that any written material or pictures "that convey an offensive, racial, obscene, or sexually suggestive message" is prevented.

    "Danny had worn that shirt (to school) for about 2 1/2 years," without incident, Martin Goergen said. "We were pleased that the school system responded (to Thomas More) in about 48 hours." Daniel Goergen wore the sweatshirt in school Tuesday without encountering problems, his father said.

    The law center, a public interest law firm that defends Christian religious freedom, argued the school violated Daniel Goergen's constitutional rights. It based its argument on a 1969 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the rights of three students suspended from two Iowa public schools for wearing black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War, said Edward White, associate counsel for the law center.

    The law center has an arrangement with Rock For Life - a pro-life youth organization that sells the black sweatshirt and other anti-abortion merchandise - to represent students and others free of charge who are challenged or harassed while wearing similar items. The law center is a non-profit organization.

    "Whenever a student buys their merchandise, they get a letter from us defining their constitutional right to wear the (item) and to call us if they run into problems," he said.

    Wallin said administrators aren't required to seek legal counsel before deciding to keep a student from wearing items.

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/dp-77026sy0mar19,0,6762857,print.story?coll=dp-news-local-final
     
  2. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    only logical decision. After all, if the courts decide that a student cannot be banned from wearing a wiccan pendant because of religious status then a political t-shirt shouldn't be either.
     
  3. jon_forward
    Offline

    jon_forward Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,436
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    nashville.tn
    Ratings:
    +5
    who was the shirt offensive too? evidently not the students. I believe this is a case of someone carrying a rule to far, also to fit their views. Bravo..:clap: :clap: thats one more for the good side.
     
  4. Moi
    Offline

    Moi Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,859
    Thanks Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    The ONLY GOOD place
    Ratings:
    +11
    Perhaps the school should just adopt a dress code which omits written items of all kinds. The word offensive is waaaay too subjective. I would be offended and angry if someone wore a shirt that had gays on it or other stuff. School shouldn't be political. School should focus on learning. Unfortunately, not many parents actually require that their children dress respectfully anymore. Perhaps if they did, these kinds of ludicrous time and money wasting incidents wouldn't happen.

    School uniforms all the way!!!!
     
  5. Johnney
    Offline

    Johnney Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    4,330
    Thanks Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    IOWA
    Ratings:
    +141
    have to agree with you here Moi. as far as i see it, this is my opinion of course, school kids (not counting college), while at school, dont need to be as free as they are now. freedom of speech need to be limited while in school. i know this sounds fucked. but you see what some of these kids do now days.
    they dont need to be having "rallies" or protesting or whatever it is they do now days to draw attention because some want to be different. my child is not going to school to learn about homosexuality, or abortions, or anything like that. they are going to get an education. if that means uniforms and stricter discipline, then so be it. these are the ones who are going to be running the world later in life. they may not like it now, but they will see it for what it is when they get older.
     
  6. jon_forward
    Offline

    jon_forward Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,436
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    nashville.tn
    Ratings:
    +5
    when I was in school uniforms were an issue then, as now. I will agree that if any banning is to happen it should be accross the board and not here and there. the problem with uniforms is the cost of them. and who wants to wear there school uniform[or would be allowed too] out to play, ect. I have to say no to the uniforms.
     
  7. Johnney
    Offline

    Johnney Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    4,330
    Thanks Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    IOWA
    Ratings:
    +141
    if no uniforms, then some type of decent clothes to wear to school. i can sit on my front porch and see what some of them are wearing... its ridiculous. they could at elast find something that fits, is clean and present able.
     
  8. jon_forward
    Offline

    jon_forward Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,436
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    nashville.tn
    Ratings:
    +5
    whileI too dont "approve" of the attire that this generation has choosen to wear. do you remember if your parents approved of what you wore to school. thinking back"way back" 60's and early 70's...some of the get-ups were out there. Its a part of growing up. some of us never do..:laugh:
     
  9. Johnney
    Offline

    Johnney Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Messages:
    4,330
    Thanks Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    IOWA
    Ratings:
    +141
    thats the truth... ima toy-r-us kid still!
     
  10. jon_forward
    Offline

    jon_forward Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,436
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    nashville.tn
    Ratings:
    +5
    there is soooo much pressure on our children that if by wearing a shirt that makes them feel better about themselves so be it. you know what I mean? this is how I feel about this subject, they are making a small statement and iin doing so growing up a little at a time. If they step over a well, pre-determined line, they should have to pay the piper for it. also learning what happens when you do something your not suppose to do. I hope that this makes some sense, a bit of Lib stills burns within me..
     

Share This Page