On April 13, a 12-year-old boy in Middleborough Massachusetts, who was allegedly sent home from school for wearing a shirt that read "there are only 2 genders," confronted his local school board and the boy defended his first amendment rights in his statement.
The boy said that on March 21 he wore the shirt when he was taken out of gym class and told his shirt was "making some students feel unsafe." The adults allegedly told him that he would need to remove his shirt before returning to class, which he refused to do.
His dad, who supported his son's decision to not change his shirt, was then called to come and pick the boy up.
The boy said that he was told his shirt was "targeting a protected class," to which he questioned "who is this protected class and are their feelings more important than my rights?"
"I don't complain when I see pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout this school," he continued. "Because others have a right to their beliefs just as I do."
He said, "not one person, staff or student, told me they were bothered with what I was wearing, in fact just the opposite, several kids told me they supported what I was doing and they wanted one too."
He said that he was told his shirt was a disruption to learning, to which he noted, "I experience disruptions to my learning every day, kids acting out in class are a disruption and nothing is done."
"Why are the rules applied to one but not another?" He asked.
He concluded, "I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words, at 12-years-old I have my own opinions, and have a right to express those opinions. Even at school, this right is called the first amendment to the constitution."
The boy said his goal is to bring attention to the issue, and hopes the school board will speak up for them, so they can express themselves "without being pulled out of class."
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