May 8, 2023

12-Year-Old Sent Home Over T-Shirt

  • Analysis, Flyover Country

By Ophelia Garrett



In Brief:

A 12-year-old Massachusetts boy was sent home from school because other students complained his shirt made them feel “unsafe.” And what was it about his shirt that caused this fear? Five words: “There are only two genders.”

The Background: 

Liam Morrison, a student at Nichols Middle School, was told the slogan on his shirt was “targeting a protected class” — apparently referring to transgender and nonbinary people — and was a “disruption to learning.” He defended himself to the school board asking them, “Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights?” 

I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class. When I nicely told them that I didn't want to do that they called my father. Thankfully, my dad supported my decision and came to pick me up.

What did my shirt say? Five simple words: "There are only two genders." Nothing harmful, nothing threatening; just a statement I believe to be a fact…

I don't complain when I see pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school. You know why? It's because others have a right to their beliefs just as I do.

Not one person, staff or student, told me that they were bothered by what I was wearing — actually, just the opposite. Several kids told me that they supported my actions and they wanted one too.

He further stated, “I experience disruptions to my learning every day. Kids acting out in class are a disruption, yet nothing is done. Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?”


Notable Quotes: 

“I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old, I have my own political opinions and I have a right to express those opinions. Even at school. This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.” – Liam Morrison



What do you think?