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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  • by Jim Location: Springs on Nov 29, 2010 at 12:34 PM
    @natural selection....is your argument against the shirt really "if a homosexual couple found themselves on a deserted island" scenario? How can the motivation behind "sexual equality" be a bad thing? It's 2010, and times have changed. Even if we were to disagree with a persons sexual orientation, this is the world we live in.
  • by Natural Selection Location: North East on Nov 19, 2010 at 07:31 AM
    Natural Selection anyone? Last time I checked, homosapiens do not have the ability to reproduce asexually; therefore, two gay men and two lesbian women stranded on an island together will ultimately find themselves extinct. Such logic was found in ancient cultures who, as history shows, also found themselves without succession. In time, with our current beliefs, we too may find ourselves destroyed by our “push for sexual equality”.
  • by FALSE!!! on Nov 18, 2010 at 08:50 PM
    DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA...she wants attention...& she got it..
  • by Colleen Location: Colorado Springs on Nov 17, 2010 at 03:02 PM
    There are so many people commenting, and just because a person isn't gay, does not warrant harassing Kate. She stands for something, that gays do not have the same rights as us, and though she isn't gay herself she's willing to fight so others can have the same rights. You don't have to agree with what she's fighting for, but at least she's willing to fight. She knows sometimes it's not easy, but look right now at what she's done: made a difference by taking a stand on something she believes in. She's strong and confident, and it's going to get her far.
  • by Bert Location: West Side on Nov 17, 2010 at 01:20 PM
    So all of you with the go girl attitude, how would you feel if the white supremicists showed up with what most consider "messages of hate" shirts and banners spouting their feelings for blacks and hispanics? Would you sttill be squeeling so proudly about free speech? The issue is that if you allow 1 shirt you must allow them all you cant have a magic line in the sand for where you are offended but I cannot be offended. Furthermore with your free speech theory this could be stretched into eliminating the extra criminal charges for "hate crimes" because the defense could be made that one was so offended by the message they were driven to beat someone. Am I sick or prejudice, no just tired of all you wingers spouting for one thing then running from the other. YOu need to decide to live by all of your "bent rules" or leave them alone and cope with it, I am so tired of all the soap box standing derbys and then hiding and not applying it when its used in a not so acceptable way.
  • by ridiculous on Nov 17, 2010 at 09:38 AM
    This just in: D-49 schools to wear uniforms next year. Now all this was for nothing! Just a waste of breath and resources! Bwah hah hah!
  • by Why? on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:49 AM
    Not Gay, I just don't understand the anger. If someone wore a "Marriage is only for Christians" shirt, I would personally disagree and think the shirt was tacky, but I'd respect their right to their opinion and would never say I'd use it as toilet paper. Where does all that anger come from? Why not just leave it alone and think those people are crazy if you want to? Why attack them?
  • by Rose Location: Denver on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:10 AM
    The ACLU of Colorado consistently supports free speech and religious expression regardless of the topic of speech--just look at these links to see exampels of the ACLU supporting conservative speech against Obama and students' rights to wear rosaries (even when the Catholic Church disagreed!). http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_14134692 http://www.gazette.com/articles/aclu-10 ... ector.html
  • by Not Gay Location: United States on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:06 AM
    Where can I get one of those shirts in case I run out of toilet paper?
  • by Inspired! on Nov 17, 2010 at 08:00 AM
    YOU GO GIRL!! I don't know you, but I have a brother who is gay (and before everyone else attacks me, no he never flaunts it), and he has suffered terribly over the years from the abuse of others. You have proven that even a teenager can make a difference. So proud of your courage; you are an inspiration to others.
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