A middle school student was allegedly sent home for wearing a controversial T-shirt that the institution said made other kids “unsafe.”
Seventh grader Liam Morrison was pulled from his gym class at John T. Nichols Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts, about 41 miles south of Boston on March 21 over his T-shirt that read, ‘There are only two genders. “
Morrison, 12, said school staff informed him that people had complained about the statement on his T-shirt and that it made them feel “unsafe”.
Describing the conversation with the school staff as “awkward,” the seventh-grader said: “They told me I had no problems, but it certainly felt like it.
“I was told I would have to take my shirt off before I could return to class. When I kindly told them I didn’t want to do that, they called my dad,” Morrison said.
The 12-year-old explained how his shirt had “five simple words” that said “nothing harmful or threatening”.
“Just a statement that I believe is a fact,” Morrison said, adding that his father “supported” his decision when he came to pick him up.
Morrison said school staff informed him that his shirt was a “learning disorder” and “aimed at a protected class,” apparently referring to transgender and non-binary people.
The seventh year, however, pushed back and asked, “Who is this sheltered class? Are her feelings more important than my rights?
“I don’t complain when I see Pride flags and diversity posters all over the school. Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs, just like me,” he said.
Slamming back the school’s claims that his shirt was “interfering with learning,” Morrison said: “NOBODY stood up and stormed out of class.
“No one broke down in tears. I’m sure I would have noticed if they had. I experience interruptions in my learning every day. Kids acting up in class are a disruption, but nothing is being done . Why do the rules already apply to one? not another?” he said.
The middle schooler stressed that “not one person” complained to him directly about the words on his shirt before he was expelled from school – and he said some students even expressed their support for him.
Morrison stressed that he didn’t wear that shirt to school that day to “hurt feelings or cause trouble,” but to exercise his right to free speech.
“I know I have the right to wear a shirt with those five words on it,” Morrison said.
“Even at 12 I have my own political opinions and I have the right to express those opinions. Also in school. This right is known as the First Amendment.”
The US Sun has reached out to Middleborough Public Schools for comment.