Skip to comments.Student can wear Bush-mocking T-shirt: court
Posted on 08/30/2006 9:00:34 PM PDT by Aussie Dasher
A US student who sued school officials after he was made to censor his T-shirt that labelled President George W Bush "Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief" and a former alcohol and cocaine abuser won an appeal yesterday to wear the shirt to school.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Zachery Guiles, who through his parents claimed his free speech rights had been violated.
School officials made him put duct tape over parts of his T-shirt that showed a Bush image surrounded by cocaine, a razor blade, a straw and a martini.
Guiles, who as a seventh grader in 2004 wore the T-shirt to Williamstown Middle High School in Vermont once a week for two months after purchasing it at an anti-war rally, appealed the case after a lower court ruled in favour of the school.
The school argued the images were offensive because they undermined the school's anti-drug message.
The T-shirt read "George W Bush" and "Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief" with a picture of the president's face wearing a helmet superimposed on the body of a chicken.
The back of the T-shirt showed lines of cocaine, a martini glass and smaller print that accused Bush of being a "Crook", "Cocaine Addict", AWOL", "Draft Dodger" and "Lying Drunk Driver".
The appeals court said while the T-shirt "uses harsh rhetoric and imagery to express disagreement with the president's policies and to impugn his character", the images depicted "are not plainly offensive as a matter of law".
The court agreed with the lower court that ruled Guiles' suspension from school should be expunged from his record.
AD, nothing surprises me anymore.
My son wears a Club Gitmo shirt (Rush RULES) and a John Kerry Waffle House shirt to school....no problems so far....
Good, he gets to where that shirt then I`m sure that they`ll have no problem with my kid wearing "Bill Clinton is a rapist yet liberals elected him twice" or "Marion Barry smoked crack on video yet liberals elected him twice" Then have on the other side of the shirt: "Liberals; Wanting only the best for you"
You should see what Detroit teachers wear - shoulder holsters.
Apparently it's a wonder to the author.
Really..... the "right" for a child to express himself miraculously appeared in the constitution about the same time abortion became a right in 1973?
Too bad I graduated just before that. Girls could only wear skirts...that touched the floor when kneeling. No culottes were allowed unless they had the flap in the front and back, looking like a skirt. Boys could not wear jeans. Nor could they wear t-shirts at all, as I recall.
Tennis shoes were for gym class. Jeans could not be worn at post game dances. Lockers were searched if and whenever the principle felt like it. You could not leave the school grounds during lunch without special written excuse from your parent.
If you were tardy a certain number of times, you got detention. If you were a smart mouth, you were sent to the principle's office and were usually given detention. Parents were notified of all of the above, which meant you were in more trouble at home.
We were taught history, geography, government, english, math, reading/literature, science and basic health/hygiene. When we graduated from high school we knew more than most college graduates of today.
We were kids. There were rules. The rules were enforced. We learned.
And all of this in a public school before 1973.
No. But someone sitting in this judge's courtroom wearing a Clinton shirt with a picture of a stained dress, wet tipped cigar, and a picture of a condom with a red line through it might be appropriate.
Bet the judge doesn't feel that much towards free speech.
I'm sick to death of this political crap.
You may want to print this article for future reference.
Disrupting the educational environment trumps free speech in schools. I can't believe this ruling can(nor will) stand.
The issue is that the kid was being punished for the content on his t-shirt. If the school had a dress code that forbade all t-shirts, which public schools can and some do have, there would be no issue. But the argument is that the kid wouldn't have gotten in trouble if the shirt had had pictures of sunshine and lollipops; he got in trouble for expressing an offensive message, and government agents (public school employees) are bound by the Constitution not to selectively discriminate for or against any given message, even offensive ones. See the difference between your list of rules (which penalize behavior) and this case (which was an attempt to penalize content)?
All of which has nothing to do with the most important issue in this story, that being that this poor kid was raised by moonbats who dumped enough nonsense down this kid's throat that by age 12 he was permitted (if not forced) to wear clothing with stupid and offensive messages in public because those messages represented the parents' geriatric-hippie worldview.
Ditto! What is scary is that some feel that a 12 y/o child has all these rights.
I caught a horrible cold and have been on the sofa watching TV most of last night and today.
I happened upon Spike Lee's "When the Leeves Broke."
I tell you this, from the lies that they are telling, we are lost as a country.
On part has Harry Belafonte talking about how he and a bunch of black leaders (Danny Glover) went to see old Hugo Chavez to see what HE can/would do for the blacks in America, you know, the people "Bush won't do anything for."
Right that moment, I felt like we are in a losing battle.
Red herring. The issue is the depiction of illegal drugs and drug paraphenalia which schools have a right to ban. Could he have worn a t-shirt with an image of Monica getting down on Clinton? I say no, because the content being forbidden is not the political content, but the sexual content. In this case it is the drugs.
As I understand it the school has a policy that forbids the depiction of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The court was quite wrong. Schools are not free speech zones. The speech is not allowed to be disruptive to the learning environment. The F-word or a racial slur on a shirt would be disruptive to the learning environment. So would this shirt.
BS Kids do not have 1st amendment rights at schools