A 12-year-old boy, who Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) defended for standing up for basic biology, sued his middle school for violating his First Amendment rights.
As The Free Press reported earlier this month, Liam Morrison gained national attention, including from Greene, when he criticized his school for sending him home because he wore a T-shirt reading “There are only two genders.”
Liam’s family recently sued the school because its speech policy was “overly broad, infringes on his First Amendment rights, and allows campus leaders to enforce viewpoint discrimination.”
Related: VIDEO: MTG Defends 12-Year-Old Sent Home From School Saying There Are Only 2 Genders
“This isn’t about a T-shirt; this is about a public school telling a seventh-grader that he isn’t allowed to hold a view that differs from the school’s preferred orthodoxy,” Tyson Langhofer, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom said.
Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal public interest firm that defends religious freedom cases.
“Public school officials can’t censor Liam’s speech by forcing him to remove a shirt that states a scientific fact. Doing so is a gross violation of the First Amendment,” Langhofer added.
ADF attorneys explain in the lawsuit that Middleborough school officials have adopted one particular view on the subject of sex and gender: that a person’s subjective identity determines whether a person is male or female, not a person’s sex.
They have expressed this view through their own speech and instituted annual, school-wide events to celebrate their view and encourage students to engage in their own speech on this subject—so long as the students express the school’s favored viewpoint.
School officials have also created and implemented a speech policy that they admit permits students to express viewpoints supporting their view of gender identity but forbids students from expressing a contrary view.
Liam was sent home after he refused a request from the school’s administration to change his shirt.
Nichols Middle’s speech policy says, “Clothing must not state, imply, or depict hate speech or imagery that target groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other classification.”
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District officials told Liam that his shirt violated the school’s policy because it was deemed “hate speech” directed at a “protected class of students.”
In his April comments to the school board, Liam told the panel, “Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights?”
“I feel like these adults were telling me it wasn’t OK for me to have an opposing view,” he added.
Liam argued to the school board over his school that he had just as much right to weigh in on LGBTQ politics as those who posted pro-diversity posters and gay pride flags in his school.
In responding to Liam, Rep. Greene tweeted, “This is what courage looks like, and I know how he feels.”
“I keep a sign outside my office in the Cannon building that says, ‘There are only two genders.’ I get attacked for it everyday, but this 12 yr old boy should not be intimidated and punished by the adults running his tax payer funded school for wearing a t-shirt that declares, not only his speech, but the fundamental truth that science cannot deny.”
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