Manteca school changes policy after banning gay T-shirt

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A central California school district settled a free speech lawsuit brought by a high school junior who was sent home for refusing to change out of a T-shirt that read, "Nobody Knows I'm a Lesbian." (KGO-TV)

A new dress code took effect at a Central Valley School District on Wednesday. This comes following a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a student. It's the latest case of schools banning clothing with messages that they consider to be disruptive.

The T-shirt at the heart of this battle read, "Nobody Knows I'm a Lesbian."

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Eleventh-grader Taylor Victor is proudly wearing it to school again after she and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Manteca Unified School District.

When she first wore this shirt to Sierra High School last year, school administrators sent her home. They said it was an improper display of sexuality that violated the district's dress code.

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Victor writes in her blog, "I didn't want to begin the year like this. I'm not scared to be who I am. I'm proud to be who I am."

So her family contacted the ACLU and sued the district. Here she is with one of the lawyers.

"Under the settlement, the school district is adopting a new dress code that will make clear that students are allowed to express support for their identity and the identity of other students on t-shirts and buttons and other modes of expression," said ACLU attorney Christine Sun.

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The attorney showed ABC7 News the settlement papers Wednesday in San Francisco.

She says Victor will also get $1 from the school district to represent the harm she suffered.

But more importantly of course, from now on she will be able to express herself and to be herself without fear of punishment.

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Related Topics:
educationgay rightsclothingfashionhigh schoollawsuitACLUCalifornia
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