Monarch Principal Bans Controversial T-Shirts

Students Call It Freedom Of Speech Issue

Dozens of senior students were summoned to a meeting with the principal at Monarch High School Friday after they donned T-shirts containing the phrase, "'09 Get Wet."

The students said it's just a funny phrase that doesn't mean anything in particular. The creators of the T-shirts, meant to be worn specifically for Spirit Week, claim the phrase means "to be cool, get into life, get your feet wet in life, jump into the pool of the world, get involved."

But school officials didn't see the humor, nor the students' definition. They told 7NEWS that those words can have a vulgar meaning.

The Web site UrbanDictionary.com defines the phrase 'Get Wet' as either smoking PCP or crack, or to engage in sex.

The principal told students the shirts portrayed the school negatively.

"They had fair warning before the shirts were printed," said school district spokesman Briggs Gamblin. "They met with the principal and assistant principal beforehand and were told that the slogan on the shirts was not a good idea."

"We didn't mean for this to happen," said Christine Kirk, while on lunch break with a couple of friends. "It was just a senior thing."

"I don't think it's inappropriate at all," said a fellow senior, Luke, who declined to give his last name.

School officials said the shirts are against the school dress code.

"One of the rationales for prohibiting vulgar language in school is that it makes the other students feel uncomfortable," Gamblin said. "It distracts from learning. We want to makes sure that doesn't happen."

Gamblin said school officials notified parents about the issue. He said most of them were supportive of the principal.

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