Ohio High School Selectively Bans Pro-Gay T-Shirts
A high school in Celina, Ohio, a town in the western part of the state, is making headlines this week for prohibiting about 20 students from wearing t-shirts that support gay rights, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The controversy started when two female students wore t-shirts that read "Lesbian 1" and "Lesbian 2" on Celina High School’s "Twin Day." The school’s administration asked the girls to remove their shirts, according to students.
About 20 students came together to support the two girls and showed up to class wearing t-shirts that read, "I support...Express yourself," with a picture of a rainbow in between the phrases.
"My sister got yelled at and screamed at [by administrators], and she was basically told she was unwanted at the school because she’s gay," Jimmy Walter, a Celina sophomore and one of the girls’ younger brother, told U.S. News.
The high school’s superintendent, Jesse Steiner, said there is another side to the story, however. While both parties involved in the incident agree that students were asked to remove their shirts, Steiner says it was most likely because they were disruptive.
"The only reason they would be told that they couldn’t wear something is if it is a disruption of the educational process, or if it’s not allowed in the handbook," Steiner told the publication. "And there’s a line in our handbook about drawing undue attention to yourself."
Eric Warner, a junior, said students couldn’t wear the shirts because they were considered "political" even though there is no rule that prohibit students from wearing political clothing. Warner, who did not wear the rainbow t-shirt, told U.S. News that he often sees students at Celina High wear political clothing.
"[Our high] school promotes their pro-life club called the ’Students for Life’. They have their own shirts, which have a fetus and promotes pro-life," Warner posted on Reddit about the incident. "How is this not considered political?"