Students in Tennessee's Giles County school system will now be allowed to wear T-shirts with facts on them after the state's American Civil Liberties Union chapter ruled that a temporary ban on the shirts by school officials' violated the students' first amendment rights.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit, Rebecca Young v. Giles County Board of Education, against the district's superintendent, school board and one high school principal in November of 2015, after a student was prohibited from wearing a pro-LGBT shirt to class, according to the Tennesseean.
Here is the contentious, radical political statement that was emblazoned upon the shirt in question:
An ACLU memo, which called the decision "a victory for free speech," said that Giles County students "will no longer face unjust censorship if they choose to express support for the LGBT community while at school."
In a preliminary injunction written after the lawsuit was filed, United States District Judge Kevin Sharp wrote that shirts with political messages could not be banned unless they harmed or disrupted the school's learning environment.
"Student expression on LGBT issues is speech on a purely political topic, which falls clearly within the ambit of the First Amendment's protection," Sharp wrote.
He also wrote that school officials were not allowed to enforce similar bans on students wearing clothing "bearing the rainbow symbol or other symbols and phrases associated with LGBT rights," according to the Tennessean.
In the memo, the legal director of ACLU-TN, Thomas H. Castelli, said that the organization's decision, "reinforces that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gates."
"We are pleased that Giles County students will no longer face unjust censorship if they choose to express support for the LGBT community while at school," he wrote.