Students File Lawsuit Against Wisconsin Schools for Not Allowing Them To Wear Pro-Gun T-Shirts, Violating Their Right to Free Speech
Two Wisconsin school districts are being sued by high school and middle school students for telling them they could not wear pro-gun clothing. The students’ lawsuits started a statewide movement claiming the schools violate the students’ right to free speech.
Two students on separate occasions from Kettle Moraine High School were told by Principal Beth Kaminski their T-shirts violated the school’s dress code, which “prohibits wearing anything threatening, violent and illegal, such as drugs and alcohol.” Kaminski told the students to keep their shirts covered with their jackets. One student wore a T-shirt with a logo of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., and the other student wore a T-shirt with an image of a rifle and the words “Pew Professional.”
“They’re picking and choosing what they allow,” said Kimberly Newhouse, parent of one of the students.
John Monroe, a “premier gun rights” attorney representing both students, wrote, “Both shirts depict firearms in a non-violent, non-threatening manner. The WCI Shirt advertises for and supports Wisconsin Carry, Inc., a grassroots gun rights organization. The Pew Shirt supports responsible firearm use through improving marksmanship.”
“They’re protected speech. It’s absurd how wearing a shirt to school would have anything to do with school safety,” Monroe stated.
The Kettle Moraine school statement read, “Providing a safe learning environment, physically and emotionally, for all students in KM’s schools is a top priority. Wearing shirts with images of weapons can be respectfully regulated by the District.”
Chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., Nik Clark, is paying the bill for the lawsuits against Kettle Moraine High School’s principal, and is funding another lawsuit in a different district against Shattuck Middle School Associate Principal David Sonnabend.
A parent claims Sonnabend violated her child’s First Amendment rights by banning him from wearing two T-shirts, one with the inscription, “Smith & Wesson Firearms,” and the other that read, “I’m a Patriot, Weapons are Part of My Religion.” Monroe is also representing the plantiff in this case.
Tell us what you think. Should students be allowed to wear pro-gun T-shirts?