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Wolcott Schools Allow Student To Wear Anti-Gay Shirt


Wolcott Public Schools will allow a student to wear an anti-gay T-shirt to school after the district faced the threat of legal action by the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. 

The National Day of Silence is a day set aside for student activist to protest anti-gay bullying. Last spring, then junior Seth Groody -- for the second time -- wore a T-shirt to school depicting a slash across a rainbow, the commonly recognized symbol for gay rights. 
Officials at Wolcott High School threatened him with suspension and required him to remove the shirt. That's when the boy's father called the ACLU of Connecticut says legal director  Sandra Staub. The ACLU wrote a letter to the school demanding officials provide written assurance that would permit Seth to wear the shirt. 
"And the letter contained what is fairly clear cut precedent that gives a student the right under the First Amendment to wear such a shirt to school." 
The dispute was resolved his week when the ACLU received written word from the school's attorney saying should Seth wear a shirt to school describing his views about homosexuality he would be permitted. 
"It's important to us because it's not just Seth's right to speak his opinion about the First Amendment, but it's the rights of students to speak opinions that others may disagree with including administrators," Staub said.
The issue ruffled feathers of some supporters of the ACLU who disagree with the organization's decision to defend Seth at a time when it is simultaneously arguing in favor of same-sex marriage in front of the Supreme Court. But Staub says they are separate matters. 
"We disagree 100 percent with what Seth was saying. But the important thing is that Seth has the right to say what he believes," she said.
The decision in Wolcott comes weeks before this year's day of silence, which falls on April 19th. 

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