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Court says high school can enforce dress code against anti-gay T-shirt
Associated Press (via signonsandiego.com) ^ | April 20, 2006 | Paul Elias

Posted on 04/20/2006 7:02:14 PM PDT by newzjunkey

SAN FRANCISCO – A suburban San Diego teenager who was barred from wearing a T-shirt with anti-gay rhetoric to class lost a bid to have his high school's dress code suspended Thursday after a federal appeals court ruled the school could restrict what students wear to prevent disruptions.

The ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals addressed only the narrow issue of whether the dress code should be unenforced pending the outcome of the student's lawsuit.

A majority of judges said, however, that Tyler Chase Harper was unlikely to prevail on claims that the Poway Unified School District violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion for keeping him out of class when he wore a shirt with the message “homosexuality is shameful.”

Tyler Chase Harper sued the Poway Unified School District in San Diego federal court after the principal at Poway High School refused to let the student attend class wearing a T-shirt scrawled with the message “homosexuality is shameful.”

Harper was a sophomore at Poway High in 2004 when he wore the T-shirt the day after a group called the Gay-Straight Alliance held a “Day of Silence” to protest intolerance of gays and lesbians. The year before, the campus was disrupted by protests and conflicts between students over the Day of Silence.

After Harper refused to take off the T-shirt, Poway High School's principal kept Harper out of class and assigned him to do homework in a conference room for the rest of the day. He was not suspended from school.

On Thursday, the three-judge appeals court panel said “the school is permitted to prohibit Harper's conduct...if it can demonstrate that the restriction was necessary to prevent either the violation of the rights of other students or substantial disruption of school activities.”

The opinion, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt and joined by Judge Sydney Thomas for a 2-1 ruling, didn't decide the merits of the student's lawsuit, which will be heard in federal court in San Diego.

Judge Alex Kozinski wrote a blistering dissent, arguing that the high school had in effect authorized a heated debate over sexual orientation when it allowed the “Day of Silence.”

“Harper's T-shirt was not an out-of-the-blue affront to fellow students who were minding their own business,” Kozinski wrote. “Rather, Harper wore his T-shirt in response to the Day of Silence, a political activity that was sponsored or at the very least tolerated by school authorities.”

Jack Sleeth, a school district attorney, said that the 9th Circuit ruling supports the district's prohibition against T-shirts with messages that are offensive to some.

“When it violates the rights of other, then it can be prohibited,” Sleeth said. “It is that simple of an issue.”

Robert Tyler, an attorney for Harper, said he may wait until the main case is decided before determining if further appeals are necessary.

“Mr. Harper's speech was censored,” Tyler said. “There wasn't any disruption, but there was concern that it was politically incorrect.”

The case is Harper v. Poway Unified School District, 04-57037.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: 9thcircuit; 9thcircus; activistcourt; buttpirates; bvdeviant; culturewar; discrimination; doublestandard; dresscode; dresscodes; freespeech; harpervpoway; hatespeech; homosexualagenda; homosexuals; homoteens; judicialtyranny; lawrencevtexas; lawsuit; poway; powayunified; publicschool; publicschools; ruling; sandiego; sandiegocounty; sissy; taxdollarsatwork; tshirt; tubesteaktarzan
I agree with the dissent but the T-shirt's slogan certainly seems over-the-top. I don't know anything about this "Day of Silence" activity at the school.
1 posted on 04/20/2006 7:02:22 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: newzjunkey
"...9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals..."

That explains everything. That court should be disbanded.

2 posted on 04/20/2006 7:03:43 PM PDT by meyer (Dems are stuck on stupid. Al Gore invented stupid.)
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To: newzjunkey

The more I read about these lawsuits over t-shirts and clothing, the more I become convinced that the answer is school uniforms.


3 posted on 04/20/2006 7:05:08 PM PDT by Zeroisanumber
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To: newzjunkey
How about wearing a shirt that says "extra-martial sex is shameful"? Homosexuals ask that their sin be celebrated.

There are no American bacchanal parades for heterosexuals and adulterers. While some might point to Mardi Gras, there are still towns where the whoring attitudes of the Big Easy's French Quarter have not adopted sex as the reason for the parades. Some people still bring their kids.
4 posted on 04/20/2006 7:08:38 PM PDT by weegee ("CBS NEWS? Is that show still on?" - freedomson)
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To: newzjunkey

"Day of Silence" is supposed to be a homo protest day in the public schools when all "gay teens" protest be being silent for the entire school day.

As if the fudge-packers can be silent for ten minutes.


5 posted on 04/20/2006 7:08:42 PM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: newzjunkey

I could see if the T-shirt threatened or endorsed violence against gays or used derogatory or hateful language but all the shirt did is take a moral stand against homosexuality. If this shirt is upsetting to gays then why aren't Che Guevara T's banned? I would say they are threatening and upsetting to Cubans to whom he was there tormentor. Schools need to stop being hypocrites.


6 posted on 04/20/2006 7:09:28 PM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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To: weegee
There are no American bacchanal parades for heterosexuals and adulterers. While some might point to Mardi Gras

The queers are well represented at Mardi Gras.

7 posted on 04/20/2006 7:14:31 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: newzjunkey

I went to court and all I got was this stupid T-shirt???


8 posted on 04/20/2006 7:14:55 PM PDT by TheRobb7 (The American Spirit does not require a federal subsidy.)
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To: Zeroisanumber

That is a solid idea.


9 posted on 04/20/2006 7:14:59 PM PDT by mancogasuki (Live Free Or Die.)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: newzjunkey

Homosexuality is shameful

The kid has as much right to express himself in school as the sodomites and lesbians do trying to coerce everyone into observing their self proclaimed holiday on school property
with the consent and support of the school administrators,school board,teachers and tax payers...

The student is being denied his freedom of expression...

If he isnt allowed to express his thoughts on homosexuality then the sodomites and lesbians must also be denied theirs

imo


11 posted on 04/20/2006 7:25:20 PM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: canuckistan1
So if a kid walks into school with a Hitler T-shirt it's o.k. as long as he is wearing it is Representative of say the struggle against the versai treaty and not as a display and approval of genocide and antisemitism?

Also the gay kid should be able to then wear a shirt that say heterosexuals are shameful. However I doubt he would be asked not to wear the shirt, on the contrary he probably will be called an activist as a posed to a biggot.
12 posted on 04/20/2006 7:33:13 PM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: newzjunkey

Go check out Volokh Conspiracy. His blog is good as he is a great 1st amendment Constitutional Scholar. He gives this ruling a big thumbs down and says the 9th Circus has set itself up for a 9-0 smack down from the USSC. Not that that is unusual.


14 posted on 04/20/2006 7:48:19 PM PDT by therut
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To: canuckistan1
Oppressed? Outside of military service what professions are they bard from? Do we have gay only water fountains? Do we have gay only housing? do we make gays enter through the back door? (out of decency I wont make a joke here) seriously I will admit that there is limited bigotry against gay people sporadicly but oppressed is an extreme exaggeration. We also have freedom of speech here too, why cant one kid say vocally or in this case a T-shirt that he thinks a behavior is shameful? It may hurt some feelings but so what? People say things that hurt my feelings all the time but I don't whine about it. It certainly is not harassment. Now if this kid followed around a gay student and taunted him that would be harassment and then he should be suspended.
And correct me if I am misconstruing your post but are you actually saying it's o.k. to be cruel as long as it is directed to the minority?
15 posted on 04/20/2006 7:49:42 PM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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To: Zeroisanumber

The more I think of vouchers and homeschooling.


16 posted on 04/20/2006 7:49:45 PM PDT by Mr. Rational
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To: canuckistan1

Homosexuals are not oppressed. That is totally silly. They want to preceive themselves as such so they can be a special group. They have the same rights as everyone else except the 9th circus thinks they are more special.


17 posted on 04/20/2006 7:50:22 PM PDT by therut
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To: canuckistan1

fourth: black is white.


18 posted on 04/20/2006 7:51:40 PM PDT by Mr. Rational
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To: spikeytx86

Stop that. Everyone knows homos are horribly oppressed in the US. They need to all stay in Canada where it is safe.


19 posted on 04/20/2006 7:58:19 PM PDT by Mr. Rational
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To: newzjunkey

"the Gay-Straight Alliance held a “Day of Silence” to protest intolerance of gays and lesbians."

You selfish Gays/Lesbos...its always about you and your little sexual insecurities that you announce to all....when do you ever recognize and call attention to issues not connected to your own sexual soap operas?


20 posted on 04/20/2006 8:02:10 PM PDT by tflabo (Take authority that's ours)
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To: spikeytx86
Correction at the bottom, I meant Majority as opposed To Minority.
21 posted on 04/20/2006 8:02:26 PM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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To: meyer

The 9th should be split into three circuits and allow GWBush to appoint all the judges for the two new circuits.


22 posted on 04/20/2006 8:05:09 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: therut
second: saying homosexuality is shameful is deraugatory, its virtually calling their lifestyles wrong and immoral.

Not exactly. It is not virtually calling their lifestyle anything. It is actually calling the lifestyle wrong and immoral because that is what the student wearing the t-shirt believes.

23 posted on 04/20/2006 8:13:48 PM PDT by It's me
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To: therut; canuckistan1

Oooops, sorry, I meant that for canuckistan1


24 posted on 04/20/2006 8:14:45 PM PDT by It's me
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To: newzjunkey
Here is a recent article about the ACLU defending students in wearing clothing expressing their thoughts – here is an excerpt:

Following a letter by an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri warning Superintendent Jim Bogle that court precedents dating back nearly 40 years require public schools to allow students to express political views by means of their clothing, a number of Crocker students came to school Tuesday wearing either the original “S.A.B.” T-shirts or new T-shirts. The new shirts said “freedom of speech” on the front and “students have rights too” on the back. http://www.waynesvilledailyguide.com/articles/2006/04/19/news/news03.txt

Is the ACLU going to rush to the defense of Tyler Chase Harper in the defense of his freedom of speech?

25 posted on 04/20/2006 8:15:06 PM PDT by bulldozer
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To: bulldozer
There are at least three matters of speech the ACLU will not only NOT defend, it will vigorously oppose:

1. Any favorable mention of Christian belief (to include public prayer)

2. Any criticism of darwinian evolution

3. Any criticism of homosexuality or the homosexual lifestyle

In fact, the ACLU stifles speech far more often than it defends it.

26 posted on 04/20/2006 8:21:59 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: Zeroisanumber
I become convinced that the answer is school uniforms.

I've been in favor of school uniforms since Bush-41 was in office.

27 posted on 04/20/2006 8:28:42 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Don't use illegals: HIREPATRIOTS.COM)
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To: joesnuffy
Homosexuality is shameful

Depends on whether you distinguish the orientation from the activity. The activity can be reasonably condemned as shameful but I would caution going into the territory where the orientation, even considered an innate disorder is shameful. You might be able to control what (or who) you do but it's pretty established the burden of homosexual urges, desires or affections are not taken upon oneself of free will. Someone homosexuals would agree it is shameful which is what tears them up inside as they struggle with it.

28 posted on 04/20/2006 8:37:35 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Don't use illegals: HIREPATRIOTS.COM)
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To: meyer

Judge Stephen Reinhardt is married to Ramona Ripston, exec director of the SoCal aclu. No conflict of interest there.
http://www.aclu-sc.org/News/Releases/1998/100232/


29 posted on 04/20/2006 9:26:21 PM PDT by ab01
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To: DBeers; wagglebee

List and maybe both lists. Freedom of speech, ACLU, Day of Silence - it's got everything.


30 posted on 04/20/2006 9:48:25 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Tolerating evil IS evil.)
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To: newzjunkey
We do not know if there is an innate orientation to homosexuality. Just because homosexuals say they were innately born that way does not mean there is scientific proof of that held belief. It has not been shown with genetics. So if it is innate it must be in how their brain functions. Or is it more a choice. I say we do not know. I also know that not all homosexuals believe they were born that way. Some admit it is a lifestyle choice. I know two homosexuals very well. And I asked them one day about it. They told me they had been in the homosexual scene for many years and they both said it was a choice for them. They prefer that lifestyle. But these guys were also aganist homosexual marriage. Or adoption by gay people. Not all gays are the loud activist type. Most probably are not. That is a very small vocal group.
31 posted on 04/20/2006 9:48:35 PM PDT by therut
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To: newzjunkey

When they don't allow speech they are just forcing you to act in violence.


32 posted on 04/21/2006 9:17:37 AM PDT by Jimbaugh (Fear the Base !!!)
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To: therut
Thanks for the suggestion to check out the Volokh Conspiracy. Good take. The distinction he makes from Tinker and this case is that Tinker remained "value-neutral," whereas this decision reasons upon the Court's perspective of right and wrong as opposed to Tinker's more objective take on disruption of a school's mission. Even there, however, Judge Kozinski correctly slams the school for having allowed the gay protest day. Clearly, the t-shirt this young man wore was appropriate to that discussion.

As the attorny for the kid put it, what's at trial here is political-correctness, not hate speech or disruption. Sadly, this decision is more rather than less reflective of the popular will of Southern CA. So much for the sanctity of majority rule.

33 posted on 04/21/2006 10:10:12 AM PDT by nicollo (All economics are politics)
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To: newzjunkey
“When it violates the rights of other, then it can be prohibited,” Sleeth said. “It is that simple of an issue.”

Then why wasn't the Day of Silence prohibited, you lying dumb sh*t?

34 posted on 04/21/2006 10:13:49 AM PDT by Sir Gawain
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Jack Sleeth, a school district attorney, said that the 9th Circuit ruling supports the district's prohibition against T-shirts with messages that are offensive to some.

“When it violates the rights of other, then it can be prohibited,” Sleeth said. “It is that simple of an issue.”

Apparently I missed the leftist civics lesson that covered the judge given alienable selective right to not be offended...

35 posted on 04/21/2006 6:40:16 PM PDT by DBeers ()
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To: newzjunkey

Oddly enough if he wore a t-shirt with the words "Christianity is Shameful", this would never have happened.


36 posted on 04/21/2006 6:53:32 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Procrastinators of the world UNITE!!!.....Tomorrow.)
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To: newzjunkey

“When it violates the rights of other, then it can be prohibited,” Sleeth said. “It is that simple of an issue.”




Now exactly where in the Constitution does it give these poofters the right to NOT be offended?


37 posted on 04/21/2006 7:03:18 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (Procrastinators of the world UNITE!!!.....Tomorrow.)
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To: newzjunkey
Homosexuality is shameful

Depends on whether you distinguish the orientation from the activity.

The context of the terms of this debate leave no ambiguity as to their meaning on either side. "Homosexuality" by the pro-gay side here, obviously means "gay, out and proud." Both sides know this. People aren't "silent" about issues they are truly silent about.

38 posted on 04/22/2006 9:49:58 AM PDT by fwdude (If at first you don't succeed .......... form a committee and hire a consultant.)
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To: newzjunkey

When I was in school, kids wouldn't have been allowed to wear T-shirts to school, let alone ones that said anything on them. Things are so casual these days that there's no going back from T-shirts, I suppose, but a school could certainly forbid ANY wording on them. That would be progress, appearance-wise, at least.


39 posted on 04/22/2006 9:51:47 AM PDT by linda_22003
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To: weegee

"How about wearing a shirt that says "extra-martial sex is shameful"?"

I'm not sure what it means. It's shameful to have non-combatant sex? What is it trying to say?


40 posted on 04/22/2006 9:53:11 AM PDT by linda_22003
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To: spikeytx86

"the struggle against the versai treaty"

Maybe we should be more concerned with what people actually LEARN in school, than with what they wear. Versailles. Treaty of Versailles.


41 posted on 04/22/2006 9:55:03 AM PDT by linda_22003
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To: linda_22003

That is very true. But I am not the one who made the fuss, talk to the school board. And apologies on the spelling error, it was late.


42 posted on 04/23/2006 1:02:54 AM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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To: newzjunkey
T-shirt's slogan certainly seems over-the-top

Since when is the truth over the top? In the entire history of western civilization and of this country in particular (excpet for the last 40 years or so) sodomy was so shameful that it wouldn't even be mentioned in polite society.

Homosexuality IS shameful

43 posted on 04/24/2006 11:21:24 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: newzjunkey
T-shirt's slogan certainly seems over-the-top

Since when is the truth over the top? In the entire history of western civilization and of this country in particular (except for the last 40 years or so) sodomy was so shameful that it wouldn't even be mentioned in polite society.

Homosexuality IS shameful

44 posted on 04/24/2006 11:22:20 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: tflabo
You selfish Gays/Lesbos...its always about you and your little sexual insecurities that you announce to all....when do you ever recognize and call attention to issues not connected to your own sexual soap operas?

The second law of homosexuality:

To the mentally healthy (heterosexual), sex is something you do.
To the mentally diseased ('homosexual'), sex is everything you are

45 posted on 04/24/2006 11:25:58 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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