Target: Patsy Turner, Principal of Faubion Middle School
Goal: Let students wear anti-homophobia shirts in support of bullied gay student.
Students in McKinney, Texas who donned t-shirts expressing solidarity with a gay friend who was bullied for their sexual orientation have been forced to either take off the shirts or go home by school administrators, according to reports. Perhaps the administrators should be more concerned about the bigoted bullying taking place at the school than the students protesting it. Demand that the school allow these students to wear their anti-homophobia shirts.
After a seventh grader at Faubion Middle School was bullied by other students for coming out of the closet, a fellow seventh grader made shirts that had “Gay O.K.” printed on them as a form of silent protest and to express support and solidarity with the bullied student. At least fifteen students then wore the shirts to school, but unfortunately the school administration was not totally supportive of them.
Citing a school district dress code policy that disallows “any disruptive or distractive mode of clothing or appearance that adversely impacts the educational process,” administrators reportedly called out the students wearing the Gay O.K. shirts at lunch and told them to cover them up, remove them, or be sent home. Some students complied, but others refused to back down and were indeed sent home.
There is nothing disruptive about supporting a bullied gay seventh grader, and to think that there is reflects a profound misalignment of priorities. Sign the petition below to demand that the principal of Faubion Middle School stop barring these students from wearing their anti-homophobia shirts.
Dear Principal Turner,
I am writing you today regarding the “Gay O.K.” shirts that, according to reports, students were recently forced to remove, cover, or go home for. This is a ridiculous misuse of district dress code policies and should be rectified at once.
Despite what you and your team seem to think, there is nothing about these shirts that “adversely impacts the educational process.” Indeed, the students who wore these shirts were doing so explicitly as a form of non-disruptive silent protest against what they, rightly, saw as homophobic and hateful bullying.
What is disruptive to the educational process, however, is a gay seventh grader being bullied for their sexual orientation after they came out of the closet. That you seem to be focusing on disciplining the students who are fighting against this homophobic bullying, and accusing them of disruption instead of the bigots who bullied the gay student in the first place, is absolutely ridiculous.
You should be proud that these young people have the strength and courage to support their friend and stand up against injustice, not silencing them. I demand that you lift this absurd ban and allow these students to wear their anti-homophobia shirts at your school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eric Welsh