***At the end of every year we revisit some of our most popular stories from the calendar year. This article discusses an Iowa student being removed from school for a pro-Second Amendment shirt.***
A Johnston High School student was removed from school on Thursday for refusing to change their shirt. Ironically, the objection to the shirt came from the government teacher.
Here is the shirt that got the student booted:
After the government teacher called Tom Griffin kicked the student out of class, both assistants and the principal kicked the student out of the building, according to the parent.
Johnston dress policy states clothing or other apparel promoting products illegal for use by minors and clothing displaying obscene material, profanity or referencing prohibited conduct are disallowed.
A student may be required to modify their appearance if, in the judgment of a principal, a student’s appearance or mode of dress either presents an unreasonable risk of causing a material and substantial disruption of the educational process or of the orderly operation of the school and school activities; is a form of bullying or harassment of others; constitutes a threat to health or safety; or otherwise violates this policy.
The policy specifically states student apparel depicting the confederate battle flag or a swastika should be considered a form of bullying and harassment.
But a shirt advocating for the Second Amendment?
The teacher, a person called Thomas Griffin, has allegedly been telling students how their First Amendment rights are limited in school. He allegedly read the dress code in class, told the students he would not tolerate images of guns in his class and if they wanted to challenge him administration would side with him.
Griffin, keep in mind, is the government teacher. GOVERNMENT.
The shirt, according to building administration, threatens violence and is offensive — that’s what The Iowa Standard was told.
We contacted the Johnston School District to ask about the dress code. We were sent the same information.
The Iowa Standard requested comment from the district over the situation early Friday morning. Here is their statement:
It was the initial interpretation of the Johnston Community School District that a shirt with a picture of a weapon violated the school dress code as contained in the JHS handbook and board policy.
That policy states, “Clothing or other apparel promoting products illegal for minors and clothing displaying obscene material, profanity, or reference to prohibited conduct are disallowed. Additionally, any form of expression that promotes violence, bigotry, hate, or abuse is unacceptable.”
Upon further review and research, the district was advised that this is considered political speech. The family was issued an apology and the student was welcomed to return to school.