Ohio School Bans ‘Jesus Is Not a Homophobe’ Shirt, Gets Sued
Waynesville High School in Waynesville, Ohio, threatened to suspend a student for wearing a shirt that said 'Jesus Is Not a Homophobe,' according to Lambda Legal, which filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the school on his behalf.
Last April, Maverick Couch, a gay junior, wore the shirt during the National Day of Silence, which is meant to raise awareness to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
Couch said: “I’ve been bullied and called names, I wanted to wear the T-shirt to encourage respect for all students, gay or straight. I wish my school would help me create an accepting environment for LGBT kids, not single me out for punishment.”
However, school officials said the shirt was “indecent and sexual in nature” and told Couch to turn his shirt inside out, which he did.
Christopher Clark, attorney for Lambda Legal, said in a statement: “Schools should be in the business of educating students about First Amendment freedoms, not trampling on their right to express themselves. The school has not offered – and cannot offer – any legitimate reason for threatening Maverick with disciplinary action. They have singled-out an intelligent, respectful student and tried to shame him just because he’s gay.”