Lynn (Mass.) English High School has a problem. One of their students wore a t-shirt to school that reads “All The Cool Girls Are Lesbians.” A school administrator determined that such a shirt violated the “disruptive” clause in the school dress code and asked her to cover the shirt and not wear it to school again.
That’s a no-no:
"I believe if the student wanted to make a big fuss she could," said Mayor and School Committee Chairman Judith Flanagan Kennedy…"I did some legal research on this and I believe she is right," Kennedy said. "I don’t believe the school had the authority to ask her to cover it up."
Kennedy said the school dress code prohibits wearing clothing that depicts weapons, drugs or alcohol, or anything considered disruptive but it does not specify gender issues. She admitted the student’s shirt was borderline appropriate but said the school has a Gay Straight Alliance, which shows it’s tolerant of such expressions.
The student is annoyed, too.
When she asked why [she had to cover up], the student said she was told, "Because it’s political and offensive to some people."
"Well, frankly I’m the one who feels offended," the girl wrote in the letter, a copy of which Kennedy provided to The Item…
"The word lesbian is not inappropriate," she writes. "Saying it is, is calling homosexuality inappropriate."
She cited sections from the School Handbook and state statute that prohibit discrimination in schools based on sexual orientation. "I am a young lady who stands up for what I believe in," she wrote. "I feel as if my rights have been violated.”
As a person who wants as much personal liberty as possible, I hate school dress codes in principle, though I understand why we need then in practice. But if this student is serious about “prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation,” why is she insulting heterosexual women?
If ALL the cool girls are lesbians, doesn’t that make all the straight girls “losers?”
Or to turn it around, I assume this student would “stand up” for the right of members of the football team to wear their “All The Cool Guys Are Straight” t-shirts, too. Right?
By the way, the school put itself in this position by having a student organization based on sexuality in the first place. Of course students should be free to join GBLT or pro-straight or pro-polyamory groups—but on their own time. Not every club gets to be on campus. Ask the Boy Scouts.
But the schools have opened the door, and now they have to stand aside for kids striding the hall in their “Lesbian Until Graduation” t-shirts.