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Anti-gay shirts sold at school considered ‘freedom of speech’

Anti-gay shirts sold at school considered ‘freedom of speech’

A US high school is no longer forcing a student to do away with his anti-gay apparel.

Seth Groody of Wolcott High School in Connecticut was originally requested by his school  to remove an anti-gay t-shirt he wore on last year’s ‘Day of Silence’, a new campaign to raise awareness of discrimination and bullying against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. The front of Groody’s shirt had a slash across a rainbow and immediately caught the attention of the school’s administrators.

Groody was originally threatened with suspension for wearing the shirt, but when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) threatened to sue the school for infringing on the student’s constitutional right to free speech, Wolcott High School backed down. The school decided this month to allow Groody to wear the shirt as he pleases.

Groody is now not only permitted to wear the anti-gay t-shirt, but has reported to selling 12 of the shirts to fellow students.

Sandra Staub, legal director of the ACLU in Connecticut, told AP in an interview that the ACLU disagrees ‘very strongly’ with Groody’s anti-gay position, but he should be allowed to express his opinion freely. The student’s father also expressed to NBC Connecticut his support for his son’s right to freedom of speech.

In an interview with NBC Connecticut, Groody said he and his friends intend to wear the shirts on the upcoming National Day of Silence recognized on 19 April.

‘I just don’t approve of gay marriage, and that is what I was advocating on that day,’ Groody said.

‘I was expressing my views I was against that’.