.- A junior at Fillmore Central High School near Buffalo, N.Y, has filed a federal lawsuit against his school district for forcing him to remove his pro-life shirt. The Thomas More Law Center and the American Catholic Lawyers Association are representing the student, arguing that the school's decision violated the student's right to free speech.
In October 2004, Kevin Dibble wore a shirt expressing his view that abortion is wrong. The shirt read: "Abortion is Homicide. You will not silence my message. You will not mock my God. You will stop killing my generation. Rock for Life."
Despite the fact that Dibble had worn the same shirt previously, the school principal, Kyle Faulkner, told the teen that the message was offensive and wearing the shirt was prohibited. When Dibble asserted his constitutional rights, he was suspended for the day.
Before filing the lawsuit, the Thomas More Law Center sent a letter to school officials explaining Dibble's First Amendment right to peacefully express his pro-life views on his clothing at school. The Law Center also pointed to the double standard of school officials not allowing Kevin's message but allowing other students to wear controversial shirts that depict grotesque pictures and sexually charged messages. In response to the letter, school officials again denied Dibble his right to wear his shirt to school.
"This is another example of a school taking sides in the abortion issue and attempting to silence a student's message because it disagrees with it," said Richard Thompson, chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.