LGBTQ+ T-Shirt Deemed Inappropriate at New Jersey School
A New Jersey eighth grader received a dress code violation in late September, but it’s the next steps from the school district that has everyone talking, according to a report from NJ1015.com.
NJ1015.com reports that Justice Cillo-Smith, an eighth-grader within the West Orange School District received a dress code violation mid-morning one school day for the message across her tee-shirt. Justice’s wore the shirt, which read “We’re All Lesbians,” to school on September 25.
To the defense of the administration, some argue that this could be a difficult phrase for children of that age to act maturely about seeing displayed on a shirt.
Of course, the shirt is actually a reference to the Broadway show, “The Prom.” NJ1015.com reports that Justice’s mom, Gwen Wu, shared the news on her Facebook page earlier this month.
In addition, the administration couldn’t get the violation straight citing both Article 6, which prohibits articles of clothing that contain references to illegal substances, sexual innuendos, inappropriate language and pictures, sayings that show affiliation with hate groups, gangs or demeaning messages directed toward any individual, group or association,” and Article 7, which bans “Any accessory that can be dangerous and/or disruptive to the learning environment.”
However, administration were the ones learning a lesson in tolerance when they found the shirt was a piece of merchandise from the recent Broadway musical, The Prom. The show is a triumphant tale where a group shows solidarity with their peer and help bring her girlfriend to prom.
The district seemed to learn from the incident, as the school district’s superintendent tells New Jersey 101.5 that the situation is an example of the need for a “"retraining and reiteration of how we need to approach dress code matters" and calls this incident a potential watershed moment for administrators around the state.”