Indiana Teen Suspended For Shirt Protesting Racism, Sexism, & Homophobia

The school claimed the shirt was 'inappropriate' and 'disrespectful.'

Empty classroom with old school chalkboard
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The school claimed the shirt was 'inappropriate' and 'disrespectful.'

Renee Williams of Indiana has taken to social media after her 13-year-old daughter was suspended for wearing a shirt that said, “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you can just be quiet?”

According to Williams, Highland Hills Middle School issued her daughter an in-house suspension on Wednesday after deciding the shirt was both “inappropriate” and “disrespectful.”

“I am beyond upset by the events that happened today,” the mother penned in her Facebook post before explaining that her daughter had been pulled from multiple classes and singled out for her choice to wear an anti-discrimination T-shirt.

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Williams explained that the principal took issue with the shirt because the words “homo” and “sex” were drawing too much attention.

The teenager also told her parents that the principal said she could turn the shirt inside out, wear a jacket, or wear her sweaty gym shirt. While the teenager agreed to wear a hoodie, she had a teacher tell her during her lunch period that the T-shirt did not violate the school’s dress code.

According to the dress code, which is available on the school’s website, the only shirts banned from the campus include those that are “suggestive, obscene or promote alcohol or drug products or use.” Students also aren’t allowed to wear sheer or otherwise translucent shirts.

The teenager later decided to remove the hoodie, which resulted in being sent back to the principal. This time she was given an ultimatum. She could change her shirt or she could go home with her parents and miss football practice for the day. Renee revealed that her daughter decided she was not willing to take the shirt off.

According to Renee, she and her wife went to the school after they received a phone call from the principal requesting that they bring in a different shirt for their daughter to change into.

The parents made the decision to take their daughter home after having what they considered to be an “unproductive” meeting with the principal of the school.

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The following day, just shy of 100 students in the 7th and 8th grade had a silent protest in the common area of the school in support of the T-shirt.

While the district did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for a comment, Superintendent Bill Briscoe did issue a statement to WKYC.

“As a school district, we do all we can to maintain the integrity of a focused age-appropriate learning environment. This includes minimizing potential distractions as they arise,” he said.

While the Facebook post hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in terms of comments, shares, and reactions, those who have commented applauded the young lady for standing her ground with her beliefs. In fact, only one individual took issue with the teenager’s decision to purposely wear a “controversial” shirt to school.