Update: School to Allow T-Shirt Following ACLU Letter

By: KKTV 11 News Email
By: KKTV 11 News Email

Falcon District 49 is now allowing a teen to wear a shirt that reads,"Marriage is So Gay." They forced her to change the shirt back in November, but after a letter from the ACLU and reconsideration, they are changing their tune.

The four words on Kate Cohn's shirt are meant to say a lot. She told 11 News after the incident on November 2nd, that she was trying to show support for making same-sex marriage legal.

"I have a lot of family members and friends that are gay and they don't have the same rights as us," Kate said back in November.

D-49 officials said Tuesday that Kate’s message was unclear and causing "disruption" in classes, and that per the school’s dress code, the principal was within his role to require her to change. She refused. Now, the school district says they’ve reviewed the situation, and have contacted Cohn and her family to tell them the shirt is fine to wear.

Kate says she was called into the principal's office on Tuesday. She got nervous thinking she was in toruble again, but the principal told her that she could wear her shirt. Kate says she's thrilled and plans to wear her shirt to school on Wednesday.

The ACLU sent out this statement about the shirt and initial objections by the school:

"This is censorship plain and simple," said Rebecca T. Wallace, Staff Attorney for the ACLU. "Falcon High School administrators are censoring Kate Cohn's message of equality simply because they did not like what she has to say, but the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees students like Kate Cohn the right to peacefully and quietly display their political message, even when that message is unpopular. This is particularly true when there is no evidence that Kate's shirt caused or was likely to cause a disturbance within the school."

Once again, school officials say after reviewing the content and message of the shirt, they will now allow Cohn to wear it.

District officials also tell 11 News they routinely request students to change their outfits to fall back into the dress code, and only after a third encounter could a student face discipline, possibly suspension.


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