A Massachusetts 7th grader spoke out at his local school board meeting after being sent home from school for wearing a t-shirt that said, “there are only two genders.”
Liam Morrison, 12, said he was pulled from his gym class at Nichols Middle School in Middleborough on March 21 and told by staff that his shirt made people feel “unsafe.”
“Yes, words on a shirt made people feel unsafe. They told me that I wasn’t in trouble, but it sure felt like I was. I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class. When I nicely told them that I didn’t want to do that, they called my father,” he said while speaking at a Middleborough School Committee meeting on April 13.
A 12-year-old in @MiddleboroughPS was allegedly sent home from school and told he’s making people feel unsafe for wearing a shirt that said “there are only 2 genders.”
Watch him destroy the school board 🔥 pic.twitter.com/hCBO5wXIgh
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) April 30, 2023
“Thankfully, my dad, supportive of my decisions, came to pick me up. What did my shirt say? Five simple words: There are only two genders. Nothing harmful. Nothing threatening. Just a statement I believe to be a fact,” the student continued.
According to Morrison, he was told that the shirt was “targeting a protected class” and was a “disruption to learning.”
“Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights?” he asked the committee. “I don’t complain when I see Pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school. Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs, just as I do.”
Morrison said that nobody appeared to be “disrupted” by his shirt.
“I was told that the shirt was a disruption to learning,” Morrison said. “No one got up and stormed out of class. No one burst into tears. I’m sure I would have noticed if they had. I experience disruptions to my learning every day. Kids acting out in class are a disruption, yet nothing is done. Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?”
The student explained that he feels he is not allowed to express his views.
“I have learned a lot from this experience,” Morrison said. “I learned that a lot of other students share my view. I learned that adults don’t always do the right thing or make the right decisions. I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old, I have my own political opinions and I have a right to express those opinions. Even at school. This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
Morrison concluded by saying, “My hope in being here tonight is to bring the School Committee’s attention to this issue. I hope that you will speak up for the rest of us, so we can express ourselves without being pulled out of class. Next time, it may not only be me. There might be more soon that decide to speak out.”
Timcast News has reached out to officials at Nichols Middle School for comment and will update this story if one is provided.