By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com April 07 2010 11:30 AM ET
Greenbrier High School in White House, Tenn. sent a student home Monday on the grounds that his “I (Heart) Lady Gay Gay” T-shirt caused a “disruption,” prompting allegations of a free-speech violation. The shirt refers to gay icon Lady Gaga.
According to NBC affiliate WSMV-TV in Nashville, “Cole Goforth's mother said the school is violating her son's freedom of speech and expression rights because kids who wear religious shirts and rebel flag shirts aren't sent home. The school said a shirt he wore is a disruption.”
Julie Gordon said she believes her 15-year-old son is being singled out.
“I think they are singling him out, I really do, and they've made statements that if he wore this in California, he'd fit in just fine,” she told WSMV-TV.
While shirts with the word “gay” on them are not specifically banned, the Robertson County School Board leaves it to principals to interpret the dress code. Administrators said they feared an escalation in the tense atmosphere sparked by a recent fight.
The school invited Julie Gordon to appeal the dress code.