An attorney for Neuqua Valley High School sophomore Alexander Nuxoll says the Alliance Defense Fund will appeal a judge's ruling that Indian Prairie School District 204 officials were correct in banning a student from wearing a T-shirt that says, "Be Happy, Not Gay."
What do you think of the controversy?
Ordinarily I have a soft spot for the First Amendment, but in this case I support the school district's authority to impose rules to maintain decorum in the educational setting. Hopefully no one would think to allow a student to wear a shirt that said, "Be Happy, Not Jewish," or contained some other language that might provoke hatred.
So far the courts have agreed. Do you? Should school officials have permitted the shirt? Also, what do you think of the school's annual "Day of Silence" event designed to promote tolerance of people partial to homosexuality? Do you think the school itself is promoting homosexuality by allowing such an event, or merely fostering an environment where students are allowed to exchange ideas and express opinions, within certain bounds?
The Alliance Defense Fund issued this press release on Monday, Jan. 7:
CHICAGO — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have appealed a federal judge’s decision in a lawsuit against Indian Prairie School District officials. The judge denied a request for a temporary injunction that would have allowed a student to wear a T-shirt to school with the message “Be Happy, Not Gay” while his lawsuit moves forward in court.
“Christian students don’t sacrifice their constitutional right to free speech once they enter the schoolhouse door,” said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. “The First Amendment protects all speech, not just what’s popular or ‘politically correct.’ These students suffered unlawful discrimination simply because school officials did not like their sincerely-held religious views regarding homosexual behavior.”
On Aug. 27, ADF attorneys filed a motion asking the court to stop school officials, who censored the T-shirt, from prohibiting student Alexander Nuxoll from wearing the shirt while the lawsuit proceeds (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=4221). ADF attorneys had originally filed the lawsuit on behalf of another student, Heidi Zamecnik, who had worn a similar T-shirt the year before, only to have it censored by school officials (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=4045).
A copy of the notice to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit filed Monday in Zamecnik v. Indian Prairie School District is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/ZamecnikAppeal.pdf.
“We hope that this appeal will result in greater protections for the First Amendment rights of all students in the school district,” Kellum said.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.