A Tennessee school district has agreed
to modify its dress code policy that prohibited pro-LGBT speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) of Tennessee on Monday announced that a settlement had been
reached in a federal lawsuit it filed against the Giles County school
system on behalf of Rebecca Young, who graduated from Richland High
School earlier this year.
School officials told Young she could
not wear a shirt that read “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.”
According to the ACLU's lawsuit, the school's principle banned all
students from wearing similarly “provocative” shirts to school.
Young wore her shirt on the first day of school without incident.
The ACLU filed its lawsuit in November.
“This is a victory not just for one
student’s right to free speech, but for all students in the Giles
County school system,” said
Thomas H. Castelli, legal director for ACLU-TN. “Our settlement
reinforces that students do not shed their constitutional rights at
the schoolhouse gates. We are pleased that Giles County students will
no longer face unjust censorship if they choose to express support
for the LGBT community while at school.”
The Giles County school board approved
a new dress code in June, which it said was unrelated to the lawsuit.
US District Judge Kevin Sharp in
December upheld students' right to wear such clothing to school as
long as it does not disrupt the school environment.