School Officials Reprimand Two Lesbian Students For “Inappropriate” T-Shirt

Posted by on October 24, 2015 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 124 Comments

Casey Quinlan | Think Progress

CREDIT: COURTESY OF WSPA NEWS

CREDIT: COURTESY OF WSPA NEWS

Within a couple months, two lesbian students on opposite sides of the country have both been reprimanded for wearing a T-shirt that read “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian.”


A student in Northern California, who only identifies to the media as T.V., was sent home for wearing the shirt and is now suing two administration officials, according to the progressive news site The New Civil Rights Movement. She made the complaint last week and is represented by the ACLU. Administration officials gave a hodge-podge of reasons for sending her home, saying that her shirt was “an open invitation to sex,” could be “gang-related,” was “disruptive,” and that she couldn’t wear a shirt that stated her “personal choices and beliefs.”

Although T.V. tried to explain that sex and sexuality were not the same, an administration official simply told her she was wrong and that her T-shirt was about sex.

Related Article: South Carolina Town Reinstates Lesbian Police Chief, Strips Power of Mayor Who Fired Her

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Briana Popour was suspended for wearing the shirt in September. Popour, who attends Chesnee High School, was told that the shirt was disruptive to students.


Chesnee’s student handbook says students are not allowed to wear clothing deemed “distracting, revealing, overly suggestive, or otherwise disruptive,” and does not reference sexual orientation. Popour’s mother, Barbara Popour, was told by a school official that he did not want students wearing a shirt that “says anything about lesbians, gays, or bisexuals,” and simply told the student that “not everything is in the handbook.”

The suspension was eventually overturned after administration stated the shirt was only offensive and distracting to adults, not to students.

The issue of how school administrators respond to LGBT students’ expression of their sexuality is not going away. Earlier this year, a gay student in Colorado who wanted to come out during his valedictorian speech was asked to keep his announcement out of the speech, and students in Texas who chose to wear T-shirts that read “Gay O.K.” were asked to remove the shirts because they were apparently considered “disruptive.”

Related Article: The Vatican Displeased About Pope Francis Meeting With LGBT People At The White House

The Colorado school district that canceled the gay valedictorian’s speech, Twin Peaks Charter Academy, went through an independent investigation that did not attribute blame to administrators and said the cancellation was the result of a lack of communication between the student and his principal. The principal in question also outed the student to his parents after the editing of his speech, which was another point of contention between the student and the school.

The Texas students who wore “Gay O.K.” T-shirts, which were aimed at stopping bullying of gay students, were eventually vindicated by the McKinney Independent School District. A spokesperson for the district said “we told the administration that they should have asked the students to take off the shirts or change shirts … we told them they have every right to wear the shirts.”

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  1. 332568673448330@facebook.com' Kitty Tyler says:

    anyone like this post as much as i like ? <3

  2. 730402027093155@facebook.com' Randy McVean says:

    I love it…Be Free, Be You!

  3. 10206382051642606@facebook.com' James Wright says:

    Nobody knows I’m straight. .. a shirt like this should help her get a date.

  4. 1650936835164486@facebook.com' Nina Rosa Gamez Marquez says:

    That should be applauded…be who you are and be free no matter what anyone tells you…

  5. 907153609337678@facebook.com' Cassandra Hueth says:

    Lez or not I know I don’t care..

  6. 866324456782923@facebook.com' Lori Camacho says:

    How about “NOBODY CARES..”

  7. 846414435380494@facebook.com' Revolution de Mind says:

    anyone love this as much as i do 🙂

  8. 10153012592086017@facebook.com' Rachael Johanna Taylor says:

    I love the shirt but school and work are not places to flaunt sexuality, (or religion or politics, etc)

    • 10207658499841404@facebook.com' Noel Levin says:

      Oh really? Is that your arbitrary rule? Unless there’s a uniform required or the t-shirt is advocating violence, it’s really no one’s business what a kid flaunts at school. I’m a teacher, and my students flaunt all three. I love it. And it’s in the constitution.

    • 10153012592086017@facebook.com' Rachael Johanna Taylor says:

      I’m not in the states but if I was, would the constitution give me the right to my opinion? Pretty sure that’s what was asked when they said ‘What are your thoughts on this?’. But kudos on your tolerance spreading outside your classroom.

    • 866325136756629@facebook.com' Tim Clewlow says:

      Rachael Johanna Taylor. I agree completely, who on Earth would want children to learn about things at a school ?

  9. 819377054841795@facebook.com' Manuel Bacallao says:

    They do now!!!!

  10. 672478022888407@facebook.com' Asrat Mengesha says:

    It is the mind and your willingness that maked you lesbian. That is good, hide yourself and finally you will become what you are for real.

    • 10207658499841404@facebook.com' Noel Levin says:

      And your degrees in biology and psychology are from where? It’s your religious indoctrination and disdain for science that are dangerous. Not this girl’s shirt.

    • 672478022888407@facebook.com' Asrat Mengesha says:

      Did you find newly evolved species of fish? When did they evolve? Is that kind of story what you are talking about? Or the real biology. Of course I don’t even know about the real biology but I know the fake ones. So, I know evolution is fake. Thanks.

  11. 1075590459126907@facebook.com' Zac Lord says:

    Reprimand:reinforcE

  12. 1075590459126907@facebook.com' Zac Lord says:

    NOBODYCARES:someonefeels

  13. 895720330477445@facebook.com' Donald Leckband says:

    It’s . just Like stating a fact… why do they have to get their panties in a bunch over fact? It’s not like it has pictures illustrating every sexual position known in the Gread book! Geese!

  14. 914977665256893@facebook.com' Deborah Mac Donald says:

    Why do you feel the need to define your self in terms of your sexuality only or prevalently is it something to do with feeling it is your only way to find love. Love can be found within yourself and expressed in more ways then your sexual preference. Understanding your needs is important and in each individual there are ways to get those needs met but sex is not the only one and by defining yourself as a sexual preference you may not be fulfilling your other basic needs and therefore hindering your ability to grow. On the other hand if all you want or need out of life is sexual preference approval you may not find it in other people because they don’t have that same need and can’t understand it. My need to question you right now is that I need to understand, not a condemnation of what you do ,feel or think but to help it make sense to me on the road to acceptance.

    • 730402027093155@facebook.com' Randy McVean says:

      For those stuck in the cultural shift, it can be freeing to let others know that which has been a sticking point.

    • 10207063564288920@facebook.com' Robert L West says:

      It’s not about wanting approval it is about having the same rights to achieve happiness without persecution or condemnation.

    • 914977665256893@facebook.com' Deborah Mac Donald says:

      Robert L West Who ever told you you don’t have that right ? others who believe that identifying themselves by sexual preference may feel threatened that it interferes with the whole belief structure of their upbringing thus allowing predjudices to prevail in order to feel secure It is not their fault it is the belief structures that have to change

    • 10207658499841404@facebook.com' Noel Levin says:

      ^That’s quite a sentence there, Deborah. Do you even know what it means? I would suggest that straight people have been free to define themselves by their sexuality in a myriad ways and have for centuries; if sexual minorities choose to combat homophobia by being more in your face about their sexuality than you’d like, I’d say try to walk a mile in our shoes. Visibility changes attitudes.

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      Deborah, why would you think that being gay is simply about sex, and sex only? Is it at all possible that some of these relationships are built on a foundation of love, understanding, enjoyment of one another’s companionship, etc? Does every straight person choose a relationship based on sexual activity only? It wouldn’t take long for that couple to discover how the relationship is lacking all the components necessary to make it last.

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      I believe that you like so many others including the school system missed the entire point. It is not sexual claim yourself as gay or straight. Sex and your sexual identity are two different things. Hooray for this brave young woman! Maybe someday some peoples minds will change because of it. If this started the conversation in that school or in the community or on FB then it was a good thing.

    • 914977665256893@facebook.com' Deborah Mac Donald says:

      Mumma Pajumma Why do you have to label yourself as gay or straight what good does putting a label on it do. I just want to know because I don’t understand is being gay a society of like minded people who feel threatened and ostracized from main stream society and just want to gain acceptance and equality of rights from the larger society they live in?

    • 914977665256893@facebook.com' Deborah Mac Donald says:

      Linda Zarebski Please Linda continue to educate me. it is not that my mind needs to change. I am like a child asking what is gay mommy. I spent the first twenty years of my life not even hearing about any thing other than the choices in life are you grow up and you get married and have children or you don’t marry. Nobody told me that being gay was on the menu. Maybe I come from a small world but it has nothing to do with changing my mind . my mind needs to be expanded . I need an explanation please.

  15. 932306603510839@facebook.com' David J Bristow says:

    Well they do now ??

  16. 544804692340522@facebook.com' Dieudonne Deograce Makila says:

    not giving a shit about what people think of you means you are an asshole.

  17. 1505292246430545@facebook.com' Yahuchanon Ben Yahudah says:

    It is a mystery to me why ppl insist on reducing their lives/identities to the activity of their CROTCH! Even straight ppl who INSIST on inviting THE WHOLE WORLD into their bedrooms/sexual escapades, are thought to be DOUCHEBAGS!

  18. 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

    My problem with it is I bet the school system wouldn’t have had a problem if that word was straight.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      Kids get sent home for inappropriate outfits all the time….

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Too short, too sexual but self pride should never be a reason to send a child home.

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      Exactly, Linda!!!

    • 907153609337678@facebook.com' Cassandra Hueth says:

      Lol I knew of a little girl that got sent home for wearing a dress.. she even had shorts on underneath..

    • 10208010970934701@facebook.com' Connie Kettner says:

      Is is just that, you’re problem and should not involve kids in the mix…

    • 10208010970934701@facebook.com' Connie Kettner says:

      Parents have rule books, make sure your child is dressed accordingly and there won’t be a problem.

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      I came from the generation when Is long as you were covered it didn’t have closed on that

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Spew hatred you could wear blue jeans T-shirts to school ithat said how you felt and what you believed in. Some of us wore peace signs on our shirts during the Vietnam War. Some of us wore the flag on our shirts. We had the freedom to express ourselves in that way. We’re going backwards not forward when we try to silence our children in that way. After all it is their world to make as they please. Let’s make sure they have the freedom to express themselves.

    • 1691326554432827@facebook.com' Andrew Sharp says:

      I disagree. Most schools would have taken action if it was a straight shirt. I don’t think sexuality is appropriate in any public space. I realize the media doesn’t follow this but I’m talking about mature respectable human beings. Notice I said sexuality and not affection.

    • 1691326554432827@facebook.com' Andrew Sharp says:

      Linda the more you post the more obvious it is that you are ranting.

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Whatever you say Andrew. If I speak my mind then I’m ranting. But if you speak your mind then you’re obviously just telling the truth is you see it. I think the truth is we are both speaking the truth as we see it. If someone had worn a shirt in there that said I am Catholic or I am Jewish there wouldn’t of been a problem. Their religion is part of who they are. Our sexual identity is part of who we are as well. Still today we are being Silenced. It is not OK to be gay or at least not openly gay. It’s also not OK to be Muslim. That shirt wouldn’t go down well either. These children are proud of all aspects of who they are. There are places where people don’t have the right to express themselves. I hope here in this country we can learn to let people make their own choices and teach our children to do the same.

  19. 10207063564288920@facebook.com' Robert L West says:

    Talking about administrators missing the point…

  20. 917029085011862@facebook.com' Kiara M Brown says:

    Students getting suspended for trying to educate peers about bullying and acceptance? ?smh America

  21. 437295656471299@facebook.com' Leigh Crutchfield says:

    They sure do now!

  22. 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

    Sexuality is personal…. no one should be expressing it in school.

    • 10207658499841404@facebook.com' Noel Levin says:

      Spoken like a straight person who gets to express his sexuality openly in myriad ways. Visibility changes attitudes. This student’s constitutional rights were being violated.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      Any sexually explicit shirts shouldn’t be accepted. Why is the legal age to buy porn 18, maybe we should change the age too.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      There should be a separation of sex and state.

    • 10207658499841404@facebook.com' Noel Levin says:

      The word “lesbian” equals porn and sexually explicitness? Wow. Just wow.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      It is a sexual preference

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      I don’t see why the whole world needs to know someone’s personal business.

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      I strongly disagree, Stuart. Being gay is not a choice. It goes much, much deeper than that. Does every straight person “choose” to be with someone of the opposite sex? Something to think about.

    • 884646004952860@facebook.com' Ian Cremin says:

      If we’re all equal, why make a point of telling everyone you’re one way or another? Who cares.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      I agree, but I’m not sure why kids need to be aware of that. I don’t have anything against gay people at all. I just don’t think that should be in schools, just like religion…. both are deep inside. They should be focused on learning.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      Kids get sent home for inappropriate outfits all the time… and this shirt is not any special. Whether the shirt has religion, drugs, or sex…. or may be the outfit is too revealing. It is what it is. This isn’t a gay issue.

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      I hear what you are saying, Stuart. However, it should be about teaching tolerance and acceptance. Sexual identity, racial identity, religious identity, etc. should all be included in that. Just because we don’t agree with something doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be given the opportunity to learn about every angle of it. I see what you say about the threat of personal topics interfering with education, however, in some cases this is the only chance a child has to learn about it outside their own home.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      And I agree with you, but this country is not tolerant. If one thing isn’t allowed, the other shouldn’t be. It’s not fair. But other than that, kids should be playing. Not worried about relationships or sex. But that’s today’s world’s unfortunately. Nice chat

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Just because you may not choose to do that. Is not a reason for you to not let other people do it. Is long as what it says does not promote hate children should have a right to wear shirts with what they believe on it

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      You are correct, Stuart. It is not tolerant. All the more reason to keep the conversations going. So many people are afraid to touch this topic. There have been millions of people condemned or killed for living the life they want. Recently, in a small city near me in Ontario, Canada, a young man was nearly beaten to death in an alley after he left a gay bar. It was a targeted assault. This should not be happening.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      We live in a dangerous world… we don’t promote bigotry but it still happens. Whether we promote it or not, it will still happen. People will be gay whether we promote it or not…. and as far as self pride…. well, is gay who you are? Or an aspect of who you are. If you let that define you, then wear a shirt

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      It’s OK. You just don’t get it. But hopefully you will one day. That’s the reason for shirts like that to promote learning in a different way.

    • 1855400008020082@facebook.com' Stuart Kai says:

      theres enough on tv

  23. 10207891149976894@facebook.com' Ibrar Siddiqi says:

    Who needs to know, sexuality is aprivate thing to me .

  24. 147776588907605@facebook.com' Sami Winchester says:

    This was done just to gain attention or possible payout in some form. In America, t usually is. School is for learning, not this unneeded drama. Go to class and learn.

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Getting involved in what you know is right. Maybe you need some educating on this subject would be beneficial to you as well.

    • 147776588907605@facebook.com' Sami Winchester says:

      This subject should be handle out of school. Who really cares to hear you yell out in different ways, sometimes in dramatic ways, about your sexual preference?…Again, it’s always done in this matter to gain attention in the media or for $. Those shirts had absolutely nothing to do with educating anyone on anything. They knew what was appropriate to wear to school. It’s in the handbook, posted around the school, or they are told.

  25. 10153664102033762@facebook.com' Vinita Krishan says:

    It is just a shirt, individuals choice could be respected, non judgemental approach with empathy and understanding example maybe this is only shirt she’s got etc. Also manufacturing companies also have lack of awareness. Vinita Krishna devotional youth counsellor.

  26. 10153728236331667@facebook.com' Tammy McIvor says:

    I am so sick of it! Do what you’re gonna do, but don’t make so much commotion about it and then get upset when people have their opinion.

  27. 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

    What better environment to learn about this than in an institution intended for learning? Some children grow up living only what they learn at home. That means if racism, mysogyny or homophobia are languages spoken at home, the only chance the child would have at understanding how others live is in another learning environment. I support these opportunities. It is not limited just to people who define themselves as such, it is also of benefit to those of us who choose to speak the language of love & peace amongst humanity. Until the gay bashing stops, the racist jokes cease, and the lack of respect for others religious choices end, it should be talked about.

  28. 152511568431358@facebook.com' Dehlia Jane Cook says:

    Nobody knows so everybody has to know now? Stop seeking attention bc nobody cares who u have sex with while ur at school….if I wore a shirt that said I slept with 1000 guys, I’d most likely be suspended too n then I’ll sue for slut shaming….make sense? Yeah I didn’t think so either

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      You are correct. Your comment doesn’t make sense at all. Being gay or being a slut aren’t even relatable. Hence, the need for further education in the schools about acceptance.

    • 152511568431358@facebook.com' Dehlia Jane Cook says:

      My point is nobody gives a fuck about ur personal life in school….

    • 1513958618918848@facebook.com' Mumma Pajumma says:

      My experience is they do, Dehlia. Bullying exists because of this.

    • 152511568431358@facebook.com' Dehlia Jane Cook says:

      There’s no need to broadcast sexual orientation at school. Bullying exists because of parents. And kids need to realize not everybody will accept them, that’s part of life.

    • 1637010923247647@facebook.com' Linda Zarebski says:

      Education goes beyond the four walls of the school. It took courage for her to wear that shirt in a world where bullying continues to be prevalent especially in schools. Hooray for our young people that are letting go of fear and speaking out.

    • 152511568431358@facebook.com' Dehlia Jane Cook says:

      Courage? highly doubt that’s what she was thinking when she put it on that morning…that’s why she’s getting her 15mins of fame

  29. 10153649195736718@facebook.com' Michael Goffredo says:

    I would like one of those t-shirts for myself.

  30. 10205389758483519@facebook.com' Stevia NiXx says:

    Who cares, there are worse things to be worried about.

  31. 730402027093155@facebook.com' Randy McVean says:

    I look to the day when none of this matters.

  32. 1461007180896023@facebook.com' Valkie Norskie says:

    too funny punishment for honesty…

  33. 1461007180896023@facebook.com' Valkie Norskie says:

    ???…?

  34. 1078779938800277@facebook.com' Don Phelps says:

    Heck, I must be a lesbian. Every time I get together with a woman and do some………lesbian stuff….They just absolutely love it.

  35. 990257377663410@facebook.com' Fred Briones says:

    Leave that BS at home

  36. 130304750659766@facebook.com' Yahudi Metron El says:

    I don’t go around with a shirt that said I’m straight. If I did i’d probably be called a homophobe. The culture in this country is spiraling down, and this place never had an elevated culture.

  37. 10205569804141043@facebook.com' Lorie Bahde says:

    I do not care if they are gay. Would a girl wearing a shirt saying I love boys get into trouble? If not then I would sue the shit out of that school.

  38. 10204837006548491@facebook.com' Matthew Chapin says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…. Schools are teaching pre pubescent kids about transgenders, sex, and same sex relationships…. but if the kids show they know more than the teacher, they are booted out. :/

  39. 1725064421048846@facebook.com' Chewy FoFewy says:

    Nobody cares that you are a lesbian. Get over it

  40. 752923214818000@facebook.com' Elizabeth Brettig says:

    Why do people have the need to advertise what they are? Whether you are married, single, gay, lesbian, separated, divorced, or whatever.! Just get to know others and let them get to know you. That is all that matters as first.

  41. 737312579734125@facebook.com' Sara Mckee says:

    Why would someone where a shirt advertising their sexual orientation? I really do not care what someones preference is. Ever think that no one cares what your preference is? Quite silly.

  42. 10208010970934701@facebook.com' Connie Kettner says:

    that tshirt was on tv recently….on wife swap….

  43. 10208010970934701@facebook.com' Connie Kettner says:

    I concur, not appropriate for school.

  44. 1649037558643907@facebook.com' Chad Woodhouse says:

    I wonder what they would say when kidz start rockin ISIS =CIA AND SANDY HOAX t-SHIRTS

  45. 1171884296161641@facebook.com' Jasper Christiaan Van Dam says:

    “Less see eye, Bi is Lan for abusing Angle Ly”

    Tell my people, including all the one, the DNA switch of an Reine-Cell, has cores to sexual abuse on my Lan.

    Help us to rearrange my systematic calls, everybody is born with a clean cell as horse.(high enclosed reverb, as spiral eggeye)

    Ur environment is part of the cell change, most of the time is sexual abusing before the age of 10.

    Ring Close Semester(SCR)
    Scroll through Troublesome, my signs of adult denies.

    Circulation of old wounds, for instance as denies.

    Non of your Docs, tell you this anymore, the use instead a payroll or invoice as LoL…

    The wise guys laughs, and making money about sexual abusing as standard human behavior.

    LGBT=”Ly Gene, Box Today, Track Bounds Gasses, Laster Uses Love at Tripple Fee”

    Instead of blind except, core one, help these students to be healed to talk about abusing, that’s our core of earths Dam.

  46. 1009634705724237@facebook.com' Linzee Sosiak says:

    Im not against gay people but school is not about what sexuality group u belong in its about study!! chin up princess.

  47. 397859487085323@facebook.com' David Agrue says:

    If they can ban shirts supporting the military, or any other preferences a person may have, why hold a double standard?

  48. 1623900144536376@facebook.com' Elsa Walker says:

    They do now

  49. 10153494534788446@facebook.com' Abe March says:

    What about those who wear a cross or Star of David around their neck? What’s the difference?

  50. 10153616882684725@facebook.com' DiAnna Reisinger says:

    i dont wear tshirts saying you didnt know i was straight. why does the world need to know who we choose to love. and why do others feel the need to shove it down our throats

  51. 10204777305181142@facebook.com' Charley Danielle Mears says:

    Keep it to yourself, unless you want attention.

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