Student wins right to wear ‘Nobody knows I’m a lesbian’ T-shirt at school
Taylor Victor was forced leave school after staff said the t-shirt promoted sex, gang violence and personal choices.
A 16-year-old student from California and her mother have successfully sued two members of school staff after she was told to change her T-shirt.
Last year, the Taylor Victor wore her new T-shirt – which read ‘Nobody knows I’m a lesbian’ – to Sierra High School after coming out the year before.
She said she was supported by family and friends and felt safe wearing it to school.
The shirt “made me laugh because pretty much everybody knows I’m a lesbian,” Taylor wrote in a blog post.
Throughout the day, other students also complimented her on the shirt.
However, later that day, the school’s Vice Principal Greg Leland told her to change it “on the grounds that she was not allowed to display her ‘sexuality’ on clothing.”
The next day, Taylor was told by Leland that she was not allowed to display “personal choices and beliefs” on her clothing and that it violated the dress code because it was “disruptive” and could be “gang-related,” the lawsuit stated.
Assistant Principal Dan Beukelman, added that the shirt was “promoting sex” and an “open invitation to sex,” the suit continues.
As part of the settlement, the school and its administrators denied wrongdoing.
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Despite this, they agreed to let Taylor wear her “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian” shirt to school and to take “reasonable measures to protect [Taylor] from any known harassment or bullying by other students or any district employee” in reaction to the shirt or for bringing the lawsuit.
The teen said she was happy with the result.
“I’m very proud of who I am,” she wrote. “That’s the whole reason I wore that shirt.
“And it’s the reason I’ll keep wearing it — because after months of fighting this censorship battle, we won.”
Last year, another student was suspended for wearing the same t-shirt because staff at the school in South Carolina found it “offensive and distracting”.