Student Claims Teacher Asked Her To Cover Up Lesbian Themed Shirt

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by White Rain, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. White Rain

    White Rain New Member

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    RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia high school student said she was asked by a teacher to cover up a lesbian-themed shirt or face suspension.
    Bethany Laccone, 17, said she was asked to cloak a logo of two interlocked female symbols while attending a class this month at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth. She's a full-time senior at nearby Woodrow Wilson High School, where she has not faced a similar ultimatum.
    In a letter sent Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia asked Norcom administrators to remove any mention of the incident from Laccone's records and agree not to similarly censor other students.
    The school's dress code prohibits "bawdy, salacious or sexually suggestive messages." ACLU leaders want administrators to clarify that students can express political views.
    The ACLU gave the school until Jan. 11 to respond or face further action.
    "What's happening to Bethany Laccone is a clear-cut case of unconstitutional censorship," said Kent Willis, executive director of the Virginia chapter.
    School officials did not respond to repeated messages left by The Associated Press.

    After Laccone's teacher asked her to cover the bright red shirt, she said she zipped up her jacket. One week later, she returned to class wearing the shirt.
    "It's my favorite T-shirt," said Laccone, who is a lesbian.
    more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317891,00.html
     
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  3. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    Hmmm...

    I'd have to see the shirt. I know most school dress codes are pretty specific about nothing that refers to alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. I think this could fall into those guidelines, AND she had been warned not to wear it.

    I know my kids are bummed that they cannot wear the t-shirt from their favorite restaurant to school b/c it says "Ice cold beer" on it in the adult sizes, which the boys wear. Luckily dress down days are few and far between for us! I love uniforms. :p
     
  4. Glow

    Glow New Member

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    This seems simple enough.

    The shirt had a logo of two interlocked female symbols on it. If the shirt had two interlocked people of the opposite sex would it still have been seen as salacious?

    If the answer is yes then this is a dress code issue, not an ACLU issue.

    If the answer is no, then this is the type of issue ACLU involves itself in.
     
  5. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    I think that ANY combination of the male, female symbols are inappropriate for a school setting.
     
  6. Masterj

    Masterj New Member

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    Please. This seems so silly to me. I bet you half the students and probably some websleuthers don't even know what the symbols are.
     
  7. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    If you believe that you are kidding yourself!
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. Masterj

    Masterj New Member

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    Actually I am not. The article isn't talking about 2 female shapes or bodies interlocking, it is talking about the actual symbols. Do you sincerely think every person in the world knows what they mean? You are being optimistic, my friend.

    http://http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=female+symbol
     
  9. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    I taught school. Even the elementary children know what those symbols mean.
     
  10. Masterj

    Masterj New Member

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    Perhaps your students knew what those symbols mean, but I have encountered many people who have no clue. We had this discussion at a family party when a cousin was wearing a Melissa Etheridge t-shirt with the symbol on it. I was pretty shocked how many educated people young and old didn't know what it meant.

    Maybe your elementary students knew the symbols, and if that is the case, good for you for teaching them.
     
  11. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    I didn't teach them. I am shocked that you have met kids that didn't. Unfortunately, the kids in my class knew so many things...street wise that is.:(
     
  12. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    I would be really surprised if someone, especially in HS, didn't know what it meant.
     
  13. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    In my town, children can't wear a shirt with any writing or symbols on it at all. Sometimes it made it hard to find a t-shirt without it.
     
  14. MistyM

    MistyM New Member

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    the article states that her shirt 'upset' a conservative teacher who had problems teaching because it was an obvious lesbian shirt.

    that's lame if you ask me. the fact that she couldn't celebrate her identity in what i think is a pretty tame matter, and that the newspaper specifically called out the teacher as conservative.... as if they are bad people who don't let others have the right to speak their mind. (or maybe they do i don't know i am not from the USA)
     
  15. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    deanws, same here. Nothing on shirts is acceptable. No logos, no little crocodiles, no pictures of anything.
     
  16. Filly

    Filly KICKING AND SHINING

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    Big whoop. Leave the chick alone if they are allowed to wear T's with writing on them. Public schools here that have a dress code can't even enforce it. These kids got all kinds of violent images or writings. If I see one more "Scarface" T-shirt I'll scream. We also have T's that say "SNITCHES GET STITCHES". Big rule here that if you report a crime or dime somebody out you're done. In light of what I see I'd say leave the girl alone.
     
  17. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    WOW..you must live in a rough district. That is sad. They do enforce the dress code strictly here in the district where I live.
     
  18. MeoW333

    MeoW333 New Member

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    Sounds like the conservative teacher who had a problem with the shirt has some sexuality issues that "interfered with her ability to teach". If she was secure in her own sexuality she wouldn't have cared.
    The two females symbols on the shirt are two circles (shapes of circles with + signs coming off each of the circles) it is in no way graphic. This is ridiculous as kids go to school wearing shirts showing beer reading (highagain instead of Heineken) and the confederate flag, numerous beer and pot related shirts, etc. (at least in my day).
     
  19. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    Dang. Those kids would be suspended for a week here.

    We had a whole slew of kids who missed the first week of school b/c they got warned the first day and came back with the same stuff the next day. Their parents were called to get them and suspended for violating the dress code. It was all over the news.

    Shirts that showed the girls' bellies, pants that showed the boys underwear, shirts with writing that had anything about drugs or alchohol...

    Again, I think it is what the school's general policy is. If this happened at Filly's school, the teacher wouldn't have a leg to stand on. If it happened here at our public schools, it might depend on the shirt. If it happened at the school my kids go to, there would be no discussion. It is spelled out and every child (even kindergarten) signs the code of conduct agreement at the start of the year.

    But I agree that the teacher's excuse is lame. She should have just gone with the dress code issue and kept her personal crap out of it.
     
  20. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    When I read this stuff, I always think, I'm so glad I'm not a student these days - I'm sure I'd wear questionable t-shirts just to push the envelope. Then I remember that I went to a school where I had to wear dresses to class and the boys had to wear ties....there were no t-shirts for miles arouns! LOL!
     
  21. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    Confession time for me again. . . .(I'm starting to get good at this!) Well, about once a year, I'll be offended by something a student wears, but it takes a lot. There was a teacher in my last school who got offended by everything and anything. When three of us (teachers) went to a Big and Rich concert, we bought (white words on fitted black T's--no picture) "Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy" T's and proceeded to wear them to almost every teacher workday after that. Neither she, nor the principal said a word, but you could see them "grittin' on us," as my dad would say. Some students (and others) just have to push the envelope a little bit. It's part of what makes us who we are. (Students who dropped in on those days thought we were even cooler than they originally thought!)

    (PS The only T's that really got to me were the ones w/ naked wimmen pole dancing.
    Big Johnson, Wax My Board, etc. were just kids being kids. The two linked symbols is nothing!)
     

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