'Marriage Is So Gay' T-Shirt Allowed Back In School

District OKs Gay Rights Shirt After ACLU Complaint

Officials are allowing a Falcon High School student to wear a "Marriage Is So Gay" T-shirt after the American Civil Liberties Union called a principal's ban censorship.

Principal Mark Carara told Senior Kate Cohn to change the T-shirt when she wore it to school on Election Day. He said it was offensive and violated a school dress code banning apparel that is potentially disruptive to the academic environment, the ACLU said in a Tuesday news release.

Later that day, Carara explained to the girl's parents that he told Cohn to change the T-shirt because it was comparable to clothing promoting drug or alcohol use, the ACLU said.

Initially, School District 49 administrators backed the T-shirt ban, ruling that it violated the school’s dress code.

"In making good judgment on the situation, the principal decided it could have been offensive or disruptive to some students,” district spokesperson Stephanie Meredith told KRDO-TV.

Then the Colorado ACLU blasted the T-shirt ban as a violation of the teenager's free speech rights.

“This is censorship plain and simple,” Rebecca T. Wallace, a Colorado ACLU attorney, said in a Tuesday statement.

“Falcon High School administrators are censoring Kate Cohn’s message of equality simply because they did not like what she has to say," Wallace said.

"But the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees students like Kate Cohn the right to peacefully and quietly display their political message, even when that message is unpopular," she said. "This is particularly true when there is no evidence that Kate’s shirt caused or was likely to cause a disturbance within the school.”

Later Tuesday, the district did an about-face, deciding Cohn can wear the gay rights message.

“We had been reviewing the situation since it happened to make sure we were taking all the right steps in respecting students’ rights,” Meredith told the Colorado Springs station.