Fifteen Pennsylvania high school students were suspended after two classmates wore Chick-fil-A t-shirts on a day when students were asked to wear rainbow-colored shirts in support of LGBT rights.
The suspensions were not handed to the kids wearing the Chick-fil-A attire, but to those who took offense at them.
Bangor Area High School students were asked last week by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance to wear different colors each day of the week to show support for various causes. LGBT issues were being recognized on Friday, according to The Morning Call.
During Friday morning’s televised announcements, two boys were spotted wearing Chick-fil-A shirts, angering senior Erin Snyder, 18, a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Neither student said why they chose to wear the shirts that day, nor did they say anything negative about the LGBT community, The Morning Call reported. Still, Snyder told the newspaper the boys “knew what they were doing.”
In the age of social media, that’s all it took to paint the students as anti-gay.
In an effort to shame the two boys, students unleashed a wave of vulgar attacks against them on Twitter — an attempt to bully them on a day that Snyder said was “about support and anti-bullying.”
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On Monday, school officials summoned 15 students to the office and told them they were being suspended for tweeting during school hours and tweeting obscenities, Snyder told The Morning Call.
The American Civil Liberties Union is now involved, but the organization is not trying to protect the free-speech rights of the two students who were bullied for wearing a simple t-shirt.
Mary Catherine Roper, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, told The Morning Call that the organization is investigating the incident, calling the suspensions a “pretty harsh punishment.”
Only in America.
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