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Pro-life shirt barred as 'obscene'

Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 03/12/2004 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

A Virginia high school student was barred from wearing a shirt with a pro-life message because it violates the school’s policy against profane or obscene language.


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Pro-life shirt worn by Virginia student. (Photo used with permission)

The shirt says: “Abortion is Homicide. You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation. Rock for Life.”

Assistant Vice Principal Marylin Sinclair-White at Denbigh High School in Newport News, Va, told the student Feb. 18 he could not wear the shirt to school.

On Tuesday, the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center sent a four-page demand letter to school officials, giving them 10 days to reverse the decision or face a lawsuit.

The Law Center, who would not name the student because he’s a minor, emphasized other students at the school were allowed to display various messages on their clothing, including an image of a marijuana leaf.

The letter said the student simply wishes to continue to peacefully and passively express his firmly held views on the important political, social, and moral subject of abortion just as other students are allowed to express their own messages.

The Law Center insisted the student’s pro-life message could not possibly be considered lewd, vulgar, profane or obscene.

As WorldNetDaily reported,
a student in Cleveland last year was given two days of Saturday detention after two students in his 1,200-member high school complained about a sweatshirt with the same message.

In Pennsylvania, a junior high school principal barred a T-shirt with that message, arguing it was the equivalent of wearing a swastika to school. The principal later reversed his decision after the Thomas More Law Center explained the student’s First Amendment rights and threatened a lawsuit.

Edward White, associate counsel for the Law Center, told WorldNetDaily the group has received dozens of calls about similar cases around the country, including 25 in the first month of the previous school year.

One school barred a shirt that simply said, “I’m pro-life.”

Two years ago, White recalled, a school barred a third-grader from wearing a shirt that said, “Jesus Christ,” because it was considered profanity.

“Usually school officials back off,” he said. “But it’s interesting, it’s just conservative, pro-life or Christian kids who get hassled. They always say other kids who wear shirts with a playboy bunny, Marilyn Manson, beer ads or cigarette ads never are pulled aside by a teacher.”

Previous stories:

Another student penalized
for pro-life shirt

Pro-life shirt equated with swastika


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