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A California school has fixed its T-shirt policy after two student were reprimanded for wearing the “inappropriate” Christian message that life is valuable, according to a law firm that defends religious freedom and parental rights.
The announcement comes from Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, who said he saluted the district for resolving so quickly the First Amendment violation.
The case developed at a Livingston, Calif., middle school when two students, sisters, were admonished by school officials for wearing the offending T-shirts.
The message read: “Help Cure Abortion” on the front, and “Abortion: The leading cause of death in America 1,200,000 every year” on the back.
One student was pulled out of her class by two instructors who told her she was not allowed to wear the shirt to school because it was “inappropriate.” She then was ordered to remove the shirt or turn it inside out, and warned that refusing would result in her being sent home, Dacus said.
Her sister also wore a pro-life shirt and was told by a teacher that a note was sent from the school office stating that the shirt must be removed.
The students, facing discipline, complied with the demands.
However, the situation quickly was reversed when the PJI sent a letter to the school’s managers expressing concern over the First Amendment implications of the school’s demands.
The school’s new position is that staff members have been told not to take action against pupils wearing those or similar shirts, officials said.
“We salute this school district’s willingness to quickly resolve this outrageous injustice to these two students,” Dacus said. “But even more importantly, we salute those students and their families for not allowing this injustice to continue.”
The institute works with a network of more than 1,000 affiliate attorneys nationwide, and, as former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese says, “fills a critical need on the West Coast for those whose civil liberties are threatened.”
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