School apologises to girl suspended over ‘nobody knows I’m a lesbian’ t-shirt
A girl will be allowed back to school – after she was kicked out for wearing a ‘Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian’ t-shirt.
Briana Popour – an openly gay teenager at Chesnee High School in South Carolina – claimed last week that she was sent home for wearing the shirt, after the school claimed it was ‘distracting’ to other students.
She was told by teachers to “change your shirt or go home”, but refused, adding: “I’ve worn this shirt before and nobody’s ever said anything”.
However, after receiving a letter from law firm Lambda Legal, the school’s Principal Thomas Ezell has agreed to allow the student to wear the t-shirt.
In addition, he confirmed that the disciplinary action will not be reflected on the student’s school record, and that she will receive an apology from the school.
Brianna Popour said: “I’m so happy that I can wear my t-shirt. Too many lesbian and gay students feel ashamed of who they are, and I’m glad the school won’t be contributing to that even more.
“My shirt is just an expression of who I am, and I hope my school will help other students like me know that they can be proud of who they are, too.”
Tara Borelli, Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office, said: “We commend the school for reversing its position and following its legal obligations.
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“But this is also a notice to school administrators across the state: Schools should be in the business of creating a safe and supportive environment for all students, not trampling on their right to express themselves honestly.
“LGBT students should not be told that they are being ‘offensive and distracting’ just for openly acknowledging who they are. First Amendment rights apply to all students, and efforts to silence LGBT youth will not go unchallenged.”
Previously, school officials said that the t-shirt was “offensive and distracting”.
They had claimed: “Clothing deemed distracting, revealing, overly suggestive or otherwise disruptive will not be permitted.”
Another US high school senior was recently outed to his parents over his plan to come out in his graduation speech.