Liam Morrison, a seventh-grader in Middleborough, Massachusetts, was kicked out of his middle school for wearing a t-shirt that said “There are only two genders,” despite the school allowing pro-LGBTQ signage and apparel.

12-year-old Morrison, who attends John T. Nichols Middle School, was taken out of gym class on March 21 and brought into a meeting with school officials who told him others had complained that the words on his shirt made them feel “unsafe.”

The school staff members informed Morrison he would have to take off the shirt before he could return to class. However, the young boy refused to agree to these terms and his father picked him up from school.

On April 13, Morrison attended a Middleborough School Committee meeting where he spoke out against the unfair treatment he received and the double standard in the school’s political expression policies.

Liam Morrison, 12

At the meeting, Morrison recounted the ridiculous incident on March 21, explaining that the words on his shirt should not have prompted complaints from others at the middle school.

“What did my shirt say? Five simple words: There. Are. Only. Two. Genders,” explained Morrison. “Nothing harmful, nothing threatening, just a statement I believe to be a fact.”

The 12-year-old student was told that his shirt was “targeting a protected class.”

“Who is this protected class?” Morrison asked. “Are their feelings more important than my rights?”

“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,” he continued.

The middle school student then pointed out that no one directly told him they were bothered by the words on his shirt. On the contrary, Morrison pointed out that several kids agreed with his views and wanted to get themselves the same shirt.

Morrison added that he was told his shirt was a “disruption to learning.” He pointed out, however, that “no one got up and stormed out of class” or “burst into tears” over his shirt.

“I experience disruptions to my learning every day,” said Morrison. “Kids acting out in class are a disruption, yet nothing is done. Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?”

“I feel like these adults were telling me that it wasn’t okay for me to have an opposing view. Their arguments were weak in my opinion,” Morrison added.

“I know that I have a right to wear a shirt with those five words… this right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.”



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