A sixth grader will be allowed to wear his pro-life t-shirts to school following a Minnesota federal judge’s recent ruling. The decision came after a lawsuit alleging the student’s constitutional rights were violated by his school principal and teachers, who disciplined him for wearing the shirts.
“This is a great victory for freedom of speech and the pro-life movement,” said Brandon Bolling, the lead counsel in the case from the Thomas More Law Center.
In the lawsuit, the student at Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minnesota was named only as “K.B.” He reportedly wore several different pro-life t-shirts to school to communicate his belief that abortion wrongfully takes innocent life and is a grave offense to God.
The boy wore three different t-shirts produced by the American Life League. They bore statements such as “Abortion… growing, growing, gone,” “What part of abortion don’t you understand?” and “Never Known – Not Forgotten.”
On a dozen occasions during April 2008, the principal and several teachers told K.B. not to wear the t-shirts, publicly singled him out for ridicule in front of his classmates, removed him from class, sent him to the principal’s office, forced him to turn his shirt inside out, and threatened him with suspension if he did not stop wearing the t-shirts, a press release from the Thomas More Law Center reports.
The Ann Arbor-based Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against the school in June, alleging violations of the student’s constitutional rights.
In addition to the judge’s new permanent injunction, which prohibits the school from banning the pro-life t-shirts, the school district agreed to pay the student nominal damages and $12,500 in legal fees.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of Thomas More Law Center, commented on the outcome:
“This young Christian was not afraid to stand up for his pro-life beliefs despite ridicule and threats from school officials. We are pleased we were able to vindicate his Constitutional rights.”