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Thu Oct 30, 2014, 08:40 PM

Texas high school student sent home for wearing T-shirt that says, “Lesbian”



A student in Van Alstyne, Texas, was sent home from school this week for wearing a T-shirt that says, “Lesbian,” according to a report from KTEN-TV in Texoma.

Kathryn Bowers, a sophomore at Van Alstyne High School, said she made the shirt to attend Dallas gay Pride and has worn it about 15 times in the last few months. But this week, the principal decided the shirt was causing a disruption and that it violates the school’s dress code, which prohibits “writings that are lewd, offensive or obscene.”

Kathryn went home and changed her shirt and returned to school. But when her mother came to pick her up, administrators said they had reversed their decision and Kathryn will be allowed to wear the “Lesbian” T-shirt.

“The student will be allowed to wear the shirt until such time as the shirt causes a disruption to the school day,” Superintendent John Spies told KTEN in a statement.

Read more: http://www.lonestarq.com/watch-texas-high-school-student-sent-home-for-wearing-t-shirt-that-says-lesbian/

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Reply Texas high school student sent home for wearing T-shirt that says, “Lesbian” (Original post)
TexasTowelie Oct 2014 OP
TreasonousBastard Oct 2014 #1
Politicalboi Oct 2014 #3
TreasonousBastard Oct 2014 #12
Maedhros Oct 2014 #17
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #6
TreasonousBastard Oct 2014 #13
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #14
LostOne4Ever Oct 2014 #18
Politicalboi Oct 2014 #2
Post removed Oct 2014 #4
Lex Oct 2014 #15
LostOne4Ever Oct 2014 #19
SheilaT Oct 2014 #5
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #7
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #8
TexasTowelie Oct 2014 #9
F4lconF16 Oct 2014 #10
DhhD Oct 2014 #11
randys1 Oct 2014 #16
nightscanner59 Nov 2014 #20

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 08:46 PM

1. I'm trying to get my head around why...

it would be OK for any high school sophomore to go around advertising sexual preference.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 08:53 PM

3. Why not

 

Don't straight kids hold hands and sneak kisses. Doesn't their annual pick best couple or king and queen? Why is that OK?

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 10:39 AM

12. A high school sophomore is 15 or 16 and...

that's underage in most places. Public sexual statements are generally disapproved of at that age.

And don't try saying it's political. The word "lesbian" defines sexual preference and the politics comes later.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 02:01 PM

17. Sexual identity, not preference.[n/t]

 

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 04:18 AM

6. Seriously?

First, she was wearing it for gay pride (edit). Second, why the hell shouldn't she? Why do you get to decide when she feels ready and comfortable with her sexuality? For all you know, maybe she only recently came out, and this helps her feel confident in a place without many friends. Maybe the shirt is a statement piece against discrimination. Maybe the shirt is just a reminder of who she is, something comforting to wear. Maybe she's wearing it in support of a friend who recently committed suicide after being bullied for being gay.

News flash: real life happens by high school. High schoolers have sex (often before they want to, sadly), begin to discover who they are, who they're attracted to. Maybe, just maybe, you don't get to decide how and when someone is ready for and displays their sexuality, and maybe you should think before being so quick to judge.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 11:00 AM

13. She's a minor. If she wore a shirt that said...

"I got laid for the first time last night", would that be OK as a political statement?

I like how you're accusing me of judging when what I'm doing is questioning. Teenagers now have far more sexual stimuli than when I was one, but they seem to have less adult leadership in working out the confusion at that age. At 15, she may or may not have discovered she is a lesbian, and she may change her mind a few times before she's 30. But, I question whether advertising her sexuality of the day is a good thing at that age. Adults question it themselves when there are far more consequences. Maybe there shouldn't be consequences for one's sexuality but when there are it's reasonable to be aware of them.

Maybe she's wearing it in solidarity for some friends or relatives, or political movement. That's easier to deal with, but, again, would an advertisement for a group sex club or prostitution be OK?

The question is whether the message is age-appropriate, not whether you or I agree with it.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 12:14 PM

14. Many teenagers do understand their sexuality, and often better than many adults.

Last edited Fri Oct 31, 2014, 03:05 PM - Edit history (1)

If she wore a shirt that said, 'I got laid for the first time last night', would that be OK as a political statement?

If that's the statement that she wants to make, why not? I somehow doubt that would happen--most teenagers aren't that comfortable or open about their sexuality, but if they are, why not? Minors in most states (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) can have sex legally with other minors of a minimum age or near-minors. It can be very beneficial to make those kind of statements about yourself. If she's comfortable with it and wants to share that, should she be prevented from doing so? Would you ban teenagers from talking about it? Or is saying it publicly what you're objecting to? If it's because you just don't want to see it in public, then deal with it. It's not your shirt. If it's because you think a girl or a boy that age shouldn't be sexually active, then you can take your "morals" and stuff them, because again, it's not up to you to determine whether it's "age-appropriate" for someone. That is entirely up to the individual in question. I would leave it up to the school to decide when and if a shirt crosses a line into vulgarity instead of a statement piece, though of course that comes with its own set of thorny issues.

Teenagers now have far more sexual stimuli than when I was one, but they seem to have less adult leadership in working out the confusion at that age.

I would disagree with this. I think that there are far more adult leaders and resources than there used to be, particularly for the LGBT community. Human sexuality is a topic discussed in most health classrooms, and the practice of abstinence-only education is--thankfully--slowly disappearing (with of course the usual nut-jobs on the right screaming their heads off about it).

At 15, she may or may not have discovered she is a lesbian, and she may change her mind a few times before she's 30. But, I question whether advertising her sexuality of the day is a good thing at that age. Adults question it themselves when there are far more consequences. Maybe there shouldn't be consequences for one's sexuality but when there are it's reasonable to be aware of them.

I have yet to meet someone who has "changed their mind" about being LGBT. I sincerely doubt that almost anyone changes their mind "a few times" before they're 30. People may go through experimental phases (and perfectly healthy ones), but who you are doesn't just change. That's a right-wing talking point if there ever was one. It's not a willy-nilly choice that some stupid teenager just randomly decides one day--these decisions and self-reflections can be every bit as consequential as adult decisions. I'm glad I didn't have you to talk to when I was figuring out my bisexuality. It wasn't some choice I just up and decided to make one day, it was a fuller realization of who I was. That can happen just as easily at 5 as it can at 55, and both are equally valid. I find it very offensive that you dismiss the self-understanding that teenagers across the world come to every day with respect to their sexuality as simply a dumb teenage decision. I think more teenagers are aware of the consequences of these decisions than you appear to be.

Maybe she's wearing it in solidarity for some friends or relatives, or political movement. That's easier to deal with, but, again, would an advertisement for a group sex club or prostitution be OK?

How on earth do you conflate advertising for prostitution to be the same thing as standing in solidarity with other LGBT persons?

The question is whether the message is age-appropriate, not whether you or I agree with it.

But that's exactly what you're saying. If you don't think it's age-appropriate, than it shouldn't be allowed. Again, it's not your decision to make. It's up to the individual to decide what is age-appropriate for them at what time. I have known men and women that were comfortable and having healthy sexual relationships at 15. I've also known people that still aren't comfortable in their sexuality in their twenties (and I'm sure even later in life--I just don't discuss sexuality with many people older than that). Point is, age-appropriateness when it comes to sexuality is simply a tool you are using to force others into the box you want them in.

Note: Minor edits for grammar

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 07:13 PM

18. You are assuming that orientation implies sex preference alone.

It doesn't.

There are many different types of attractions: Sexual, Romantic, Sensual, and ascetic attractions.

Just as one can desire intercourse without love, one can also desire love without sex. There is nothing lewd or inappropriate about love whether it's to someone of a different sex or not.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 08:48 PM

2. Just waiting for the bullies to make it go away

 

My guess is she'll only be able to wear it one more time and get sent home to change it before days end.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 12:55 PM

15. What do "sexual predators" have to do with this?

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Response to Post removed (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 07:26 PM

19. This is the most disrespectful and homophobic thing I have seen on DU

You should be ashamed of yourself!

Homosexuality has NOTHING to do with pedophilia!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 11:28 PM

5. This simplest solution is to not allow any

 

shirts with any writing on them at all. That way you don't have to get into negotiations about what is acceptable.

The private school my kids attended had such a rule and it was a good one. There were other aspects of the dress code that kids complained about all the time, and when I got annoyed enough I pointed out to them that when they left school and entered the world of work they'd be faced with far more stringent dress codes than they dealt with in high school.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 04:26 AM

7. Though that's a simpler solution

I don't particularly care for it. High school is an important time for adolescents to begin discovering themselves and others. How we dress is an important part of that. I strongly support more relaxed dress codes. Provided the clothes are reasonable, I see no reason not to allow student's free expression. Yes, it's harder to do. But it both provides the students with an important mode of expression and allows for an educational conversation when such clothes arise that do cross a line.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 04:31 AM

8. I find it sad that so far the responses have been either

Blaming the girl for wearing a t-shirt declaring her sexuality or providing the school with alternate options. The problem here is the school, not the student. The idea that the word "lesbian" should ever be considered "lewd, offensive, or obscene" is disgusting. This only teaches students that being gay and being open about it isn't okay.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 05:06 AM

9. +1,000

I'm glad that I'm not the only that understands the point. I'm 49 years old and something like this would have been unthinkable when I was in high school. In a truly liberated age nobody should have to squash their support for LGBT causes or mask their identity.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 05:26 AM

10. I am very glad to have gone to a high school

Where a shirt like this wouldn't have been noticed as out of the ordinary. Gay and lesbian couples did the same thing straight couples did, and nobody cared. What always impressed me eas my band teacher--devoutly Mormon, but very accepting of any and all types of people. I hope that attitude will spread everywhere. Though I didn't know I was bi in high school, I would have been very grateful to have lived where I did.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #10)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 09:26 AM

11. She will be fine wearing it in my opinion. The Administration actually made a statement to the

entire community that the girl is acceptable in a public school. And that students are there to learn.

Shirts get old and worn out fast but persons keep on learning and growing in knowledge. Keep moving on!

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 01:01 PM

16. My favorite is NOW that a shirt with writing on it has mentioned homosexuality, lets ban

ALL shirts with writing...

Oh lord, the white and straight privilege that infects this country like the disease it is, surely is something to behold.

Dont worry, some of us dont just have your back, some of us think your rights are as important as our rights and are willing to do anything necessary to defend them, anything.

We used to call that patriotism


Please, for fucks sake, whoever it was who said to ban all writing shirts, I am not saying you have a disease...please let me say what I think needs to be said without silencing me, this is the USA you know

wait, what did I just say

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Nov 1, 2014, 04:30 AM

20. And I say more power to you, little sister!

This is why I'm glad for the likes of Apple's CEO coming-out making the headlines. There is grumbling throughout the bigot brigade everywhere "I'm tired of these damn gay's all over mah teevee... grumble, gripe, grouch." Hooray. It's finally beginning to flood out the hateful condescending rhetoric, off color jibes and dilute the degrading undertone to "gay" they've kept up for decades.
She appears to me, to just be cutting edge in her community.

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