School administrators were not infringing on a student’s constitutional rights when they ordered him to remove a shirt that said “there are only two genders,” a district judge ruled on June 17.
Massachusetts middle-schooler Liam Morrison’s lawyers said the order violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and his Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process, but U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said the violations have not been proven.
The school “permissibly concluded that the Shirt invades the rights of others,” Talwani, an Obama appointee, said.
Talwani’s ruling rejected a request from the boy for a temporary restraining order that would have stopped administrators from prohibiting the student from wearing the shirt at John T. Nicholas Middle School.
Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom at Alliance Defending Freedom who is helping defend the plaintiff, said that the ruling was disappointing.
“Public school officials cannot censor a 7th grader’s free speech by forcing him to remove a shirt that states a scientific fact,” Langhofer told The Epoch Times via email. “Doing so is a gross violation of the First Amendment and we will be appealing this ruling to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.”