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US student asked to cover up ‘offensive’ equal rights T-shirt

Lydia Smith February 15, 2019

Katie Smith holding her daughter's T-shirt (ABC11)

A student in the US was asked to cover up a T-shirt promoting equal rights after her teachers found it to be offensive.

The unnamed girl, who attends the Albritton Middle School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, wore a top which read: “Why be racist, sexist, homophobia or transphobic when you could just be quiet?”

Her mother, Katie Smith, told ABC11 her daughter wore it to a dress down day, but was asked to cover it up.

“I don’t think any of us really imagined adults would take issue with the shirt suggesting that discrimination is not OK,” she said.

“I told the staff that the shirt represented categories of children who are marginalised. In a time we are trying to combat bullying, I think it’s so counterproductive to that.”

Public Affairs Officer Jade Fulce with the Department of Defence Education Activity said: “Students are at the heart of everything we do. After further review of our dress code policies, we realised that the shirt did not violate our policies.

“The school reached out to the parents and apologised that same day.”

In 2016, a student was asked to change out of a t-shirt with a pro-gay message because she was told it was “disruptive” to other students.

Ali Chaney was also asked to change out of a pro-gay rights T-shirt

Ali Chaney, who was 13 at the time and attending SC Lee Junior High school in Copperas Cove, Texas, was told to change the t-shirt by school officials.

The student at SC Lee Junior High school went to school wearing her “Some people are gay. Get over it”, shirt.

Cassie Watson, Chaney’s mother, said she was shocked when her daughter called her in tears saying she felt she was being discriminated against.

“I would never, ever have expected it from the administration. I would think that the administration would be the first ones there to support her,” Watson told KCEN TV.

Spokesperson for the School District, Wendy Sledd, said the top was “disruptive” and therefore broke the dress code.

“Our purpose at CCISD is to educate children, first and foremost. According to CCISD’s dress code in the student handbook and code of conduct, clothing that is disruptive to the learning environment based on reactions by other students is prohibited.

“The student was offered a school shirt to wear and declined,” Sledd said in a statement.

More: Education, school, student, T-shirt, US

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