Massachusetts schools once again find themselves front and center in national debate concerning freedom. This time around the debate centers around freedom of speech stemming from a tee-shirt a girl wore which read "all the cool girls are lesbians".
As a result of her wearing the shirt the teacher and a vice principal asked the student to cover up the shirt and never wear it to school again. The student complained to the school board stating in her letter:
The word lesbian is not inappropriate. Saying it is, is calling homosexuality inappropriate.
The chairwoman of the school board agreed bringing the matter for further debate.
What I find interesting about this story is it raises three questions for discussion.
1) Is the word lesbian appropriate in schools?
2) Should a public school have any say at all in regards to what a child wears or does that child have the right to freedom of expression and speech as stated in the 1st Amendment?
3) Where is this child's parents and how on earth did they let her leave the house with such a shirt on?
Personally I believe there is a strong difference between a private school and a public school. A public school is just that... public. If you are allowed to wear or say something on a public sidewalk then likewise your rights are the same in a public school. Private schools can make any rules they wish and enforce them on their students. This is one of the reasons I believe government should get out of running schools in the first place.
But as a parent of a daughter my question is where are the parents? Even if my daughter came to me and said that she was a lesbian I wouldn't let her wear this type of a shirt as I do not feel it's appropriate. Clearly the shirt is more for shock value then political statement. Being a lesbian is considered "cool" today and socially acceptable, not to mention is viewed as a turn on by many men. Videos often show two girls making out or sharing a guy implying there is nothing morally wrong with it. I seriously question if this girl is a lesbian at all and my guess is more that she's into girls to the extent it makes her more wanted by the boys.
As a parent I think someone needs to have a long talk with her.