T-shirt with Gun Image Gets Detention

The Associate Press writes:

LANCASTER, Pa. -- The family of a middle school student who was given detention for wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of a gun has filed a federal freedom of speech lawsuit against the school district.

Donald Miller III, 14, went to Penn Manor High School in December wearing a T-shirt he said was intended to honor his uncle, a U.S. Army soldier fighting in Iraq.

The shirt bears the image of a military sidearm and on the front pocket says "Volunteer Homeland Security." On the back, over another image of the weapon, are the words "Special issue Resident Lifetime License - United States Terrorist Hunting Permit - Permit No. 91101 - Gun Owner - No Bag Limit."

Officials at the Millersville school told him to turn his shirt inside out. When Miller refused, he got two days of detention.

His parents, Donald and Tina Miller of Holtwood, have accused the Penn Manor School District in a lawsuit of violating their son's First Amendment rights with a "vague Orwellian policy" that stifles both patriotism and free speech.

But an attorney for the school district said school must create a safe environment for students in the post-Columbine era, and bringing even the image of a gun to school violates the district's policy. . .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think asking the kid to go home and change his attire is fair.

It has nothing to do whether people are pro-gun or anti-gun. It has to do with whether schools and/or parents have control over what kids can where.

Would this even be an issue if the shirt had said "I hate *substitute your least favorite racial epithet*"???

No, it wouldn't. Why? Because kids do not and should not enjoy the Constitutional protections (from their parents) that are reserved for adults.

The point is... in order to become better defenders of freedom and liberty we need to know where these division lie.

3/11/2008 4:49 PM  

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