Officials at Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama told a fifteen year-old student that she could no longer wear a t-shirt that reads, “Gay? fine by me.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, school officials claimed that they were concerned for the girl’s safety, but the student said she did not experience threats of violence, and school officials could not confirm there had been threats. Reportedly, the sophomore student had routinely worn the t-shirt during the previous school year without incident.
In defending the school’s position, the principal of the high school stated that the school allows students to exercise their First Amendment rights “unless such expression disrupts the learning environment or deprives the rights of others.”
After the SPLC sent a letter to the high school and the Hoover Board of Education stating that a federal court had previously ruled that a Florida school board could not prohibit students from wearing pro-gay symbols or slogans, including the same expression that was on the Hoover High School student’s t-shirt (a decision that cost the Florida school $325,000), Hoover High School allowed the student to resume wearing the shirt.