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Superintendent of school which banned Pride t-shirts but allowed Confederate ones says ‘we were wrong’

Lily Wakefield August 30, 2019
The students were told their pro-LGBT+ t-shirts were in violation of the school's dress code

The students were told their pro-LGBT+ t-shirts were in violation of the school's dress code. (WYMT)

A school district superintendent in Kentucky has apologised to students who were forced to change clothes when they wore Pride t-shirts to school.

Several students from Martin County High School were forced to change out of their pro-LGBT+ t-shirts earlier this week because they were told it violated the school’s dress code.

At the time, student Lilly Vance said: “Kids wear political shirts. They wear Confederate flag shirts. I just don’t understand what’s so wrong with wearing gay pride shirts.”

Now Martin County superintendent Larry James has confirmed that an assistant principal made the students change, but also said that students are free to wear anything they want, as long as it’s not “vulgar or obscene”.

James told the Lexington Herald Leader: “They should not have been asked to change. I’m sorry that the incident happened.

“I wish it hadn’t happened. It’s not going to happen again. I promise you that.”

The school district superintendent said no students were suspended for wearing the Pride t-shirts.

James said he told students at the school: “Anybody can wear anything they want to wear, as long as it’s not something vulgar — and that’s all kids, not just one kid — as long as it’s not vulgar or obscene, anybody can wear anything they want.”

Student Madison Harless originally said: “Two kids were suspended for wearing a shirt that stated ‘transgender’ and ‘lesbian’. While one of my good friends was demanded to remove his shirt for it simply saying ‘queer’.”

However the superintendent said that no students were suspended, and that the change of clothes was the extent of their punishment.

He added: “That was the miscommunication that’s been resolved. We’ve not had any more problems [at the high school]. Like I said, everybody wears what they want to, nobody’s going to say anything to them.

“Going forward, we want all of our kids to feel welcome and I don’t want them to feel discrimination in any form or fashion.”

More: confederate flag, Kentucky, pride t-shirts, school

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