ICYMI: LGBT Shirts Now Trump American Flag Shirts in Public Schools
It is becoming increasingly clear that constitutional rights only apply to some people in our country. The PC climate seems to be trumping that which is constitutionally right for all and instead, we've got judges replacing constitutional rights with cherry-picked cases that benefit a few.
Rebecca Young, an 18-year-old student at Richland High School in Giles County, Tennessee, recently filed a lawsuit over a gay-themed t-shirt she wore to school. Young was told by her school's principal, Micah Landers, that she could not wear a shirt that said "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It" to school "because it made her a target for bullying and provoked other students."
Young contacted the ACLU, which promptly filed a lawsuit against the school. James Esseks, director of the LGBT and HIV Project for the ACLU of Tennessee, wrote on the ACLU's website, "Predictably, a federal judge issued a preliminary ruling yesterday that the principal's censorship violates Rebecca's free speech rights."
Judge Kevin H. Sharp ruled that "the legal ground covering these issues is so well-trod that the Court finds itself surprised at the need to journey down this path." Sharp went on to say that LGBT speech "is speech on a purely political topic, which falls clearly within the ambit of the First Amendment's protection."
It would seem that what is good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. In March of 2015, the Supreme Court rejected a case beginning in California where several teens were sent home from school because they were wearing t-shirts adorned with the American flag. The teens claimed their free speech rights were violated and sued the school.
The school fought the lawsuit, alleging that the t-shirts would provoke violence among Hispanic students on their Cinco de Mayo holiday. Attorney William Becker said this was a "defeat for free speech" and that it "opens the door for a school to suppress any viewpoints that are opposed by a band of vocal and violent bullies." What exactly constitutes "freedom of speech"? These days, it depends on which judge you get.