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Another student has run into trouble with his principal for wearing a pro-life shirt that declares “Abortion is Homicide.”
Principal Doug DeLong of Chardon High School in suburban Cleveland said he gave two days of Saturday detention to 17-year-old Bill Noyes after two students in the 1,200-member student body complained about the sweatshirt.
Pro-life shirt worn by Pennsylvania student. (Photo used with permission)
Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that DeLong revoked the detention and agreed to let Noyes and the two offended students work out a solution with the school’s peer mediation group, according to Chardon Superintendent Jane Hayman.
The superintendent said the discussion provided a forum for the students to express their views on the controversial topic. She noted that the school wanted to avoid the appearance of taking sides on the abortion issue.
Noyes said he was satisfied with the school’s handling of the situation, and out of respect for the offended students, agreed to wear the garment only on days when a national pro-life event is being held.
As WorldNetDaily reported last week, a principal at a junior high school in Pennsylvania barred a T-shirt with the same message, arguing that it was the equivalent of wearing a swastika to school. The principal later reversed his decision after a nonprofit legal group explained the student’s First Amendment rights and threatened a lawsuit.
The back of the shirt reads: “You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop the killing of my generation. Rock For Life.”
DeLong had said that the Chardon High School student’s shirt “disrupts the educational process,” according to Erik Whittington, spokesman for Rock for Life, the group that produced the shirt.
Whittington told WND that Rock for Life, a youth-oriented project of the American Life League, consulted lawyers who were prepared to intervene on behalf of Noyes.
In the Pennsylvania case, Rock for Life was assisted by the Thomas More Law Center, which contended that the student’s speech did not cause any substantial and material disruptions to the workings of the school and that there was no legal basis on which to restrict his speech.
The Ohio high school student, Noyes, said he was ordered to take off the shirt or turn it inside out after two students said they were offended by the message, according to an Associated Press report. After the afternoon confrontation, Noyes left the school with his mother’s permission.
“I should not have to take off a shirt that explains my morals,” he said.
Whittington’s group has planned a “National Pro-Life T-shirt Day” for April 28. The group says its goal is “to have every pro-life student in America wear a pro-life T-shirt to school” on that day.