Student Sues Reno School District After Being Told to Cover Pro-Gun Rights T-Shirt

courtesy kolo.com

G.M. is a student at Kendyl Depoali Middle School in Reno, Nevada, and the unidentified yoot has found himself in trouble recently for his pro-gun attire. The school, part of the Washoe County School District has a strict, broad no-weapons dress code. Because guns.

As asumag.com reports,

The boy was disciplined twice for wearing pro-gun clothing, according to the lawsuit.

He was first disciplined in November 2017 for wearing a shirt from a local gun store. That shirt depicted the store’s logo, which shows the silhouettes of a rifle and handgun.

He was again disciplined on March 12 for wearing a shirt promoting the Firearms Policy Coalition. That shirt features the words “Don’t Tread On Me” and a coiled snake. It also includes references to the Second Amendment.

At least the school could argue that the 8th-grader had the outline of a rifle on his shirt the first time. But in March he was wearing a shirt that only had a pro-gun message. Like this:

“The shirt did not promote or advocate illegal activity; it contained no violent or offensive imagery; nothing on it was obscene, vulgar or profane….And yet (the student) was prevented from wearing his shirt based on school officials’ disagreement with the message they believe it conveyed,” the lawsuit contends.

Now G.M. and his parents are suing the school and the district over their overly-broad policy, a violation of his First Amendment rights. And they’re getting hep[ from the legal heavy hitters at the Firearms Policy Coalition. Here’s their press release:

RENO, NV (April 24, 2018) — Less than one week after constitutional rights advocacy organizations Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) published a new guide to help protect pro-gun rights students and their First Amendment free speech rights, the groups today announced a new federal civil rights lawsuit against a Reno, Nevada public school district and principal over what they believe are serious violations of an 8th grade student’s First Amendment right to peacefully and non-disruptively wear pro-Second Amendment political messages at his middle school. The complaint, which includes an image of the banned tee shirt, can be downloaded at www.firearmspolicy.org/guardanapo.

The lawsuit, filed this morning in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada in Reno, claims that boy was disciplined for engaging “in a respectful, silent, and peaceful expression of his political views” by wearing a Firearms Policy Coalition t-shirt to school. The shirt invokes the constitution and themes dating back to the American Revolution, with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” and a coiled rattlesnake (familiar elements of the Gadsden flag) flanked by references to the United States of America (“USA”) and the Second Amendment (“2A”). While it also includes the words “Firearms Policy Coalition,” there are no depictions of firearms or weapons of any kind on the shirt.

According to the plaintiffs, the student’s teacher, Brooke May, last month directed him to remove the FPC shirt, claiming that it violated the school’s dress code. She also said that he would be subject to further discipline, including a trip to the principal’s office, if he wore it again. In response, the 8th grader at Kendyl Depoali Middle School told her that it was his “right to express [himself] through how [he] dressed,” to which the teacher responded that he could have his “Second Amendment rights when he turns eighteen”—ignoring, and violating, his First Amendment rights in the process.

Mere days after the plaintiff was disciplined for wearing FPC’s pro-gun rights shirt, students at the school participated in the National School Walkout, a formal, organized protest calling for expansive new gun control measures.

comments

  1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    2nd Amendment supporters must be punished for not accepting the proper indoctrination. Hope his lawyers rip them a new one!

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      I hope more like-minded kids realize what a gravy train opportunity this is…

      1. avatar matt says:

        indeed that kid has the right idea

    2. My son was, almost, kicked out of the ACT exam. He had his brother’s “Corona” t-shirt on. When a teacher said “You can’t wear that, go home” he said “Huh?” (He didn’t know that Corona was a beer.) After that, the teacher said, “Well, turn it inside-out.” When he got home he said “Boy, that was stupid. I was just walking to the classroom.I wasn’t doing anything.” I think he lost a little respect for the ‘establishment’ after that.

  2. avatar nativeson says:

    It sounds like the family had valid grounds for the suit. The second shirt simply states his support of the Second Amendment which is, if memory serves me correctly, still part of the Constitution. Their position is further strengthened by the school’s official support for the anti-gun rally during school hours which demonstrates that the school allows free speech about firearms – if that expression is anti-gun. I hope they take the district for every dollar they can.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ” I hope they take the district for every dollar they can.”

      Damn straight. All he needs is *one* pic of an anti-gun shirt worn by another kid at that school who wasn’t disciplined, and he has a case.

      $100,000 sounds like it would be the start of a modest gun collection…

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        10 million sounds more like “knock that shit off!”.

      2. avatar burley says:

        How about 20 years in Leavenworth for obvious civil rights infringement for every official that participated in this treasonous policy!? This is what the Constitution is all about: protecting citizens from government abuses. If this isn’t a government abuse then what is? IF the schools simply gets fined, that rolls down to us and none of the traitors involved feel a thing.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i spent eleven years in woolworth’s.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      I hope they take the principal and the teacher for every dollar they have, plus get them fired. That would send the correct message, without making the taxpayers of the district pay for the failures of a few bad individuals.

    3. avatar FedUp says:

      I hope they take the district for every dollar they can.

      I hope they take the teacher and administrators for every dollar they have.
      I’m tired of fining the taxpayers to punish government employees for violating the rights of the public.

      1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        ^ That. Right there.

        The district doesn’t care. Its not their money. They’ll just ‘get more’.

        .gov thinks of your income as ‘their money’, and if they want it, they feel they are entititled to it. .gov doesn’t have enough for their needs? More taxes.

  3. avatar WhiteDevil says:

    What’s a, “student student.”

    1. avatar Roger says:

      I thought the typos were bad before. Seems a lot worse under new management. Is any one reading, or just looking at these posts before they go up. Hell run it through microsoft word and 95% percent of this crap would be caught. Just unprofessional.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Professional writing is kind of a thing of the past. So many non-professional writers now have easy access to the same or even greater audiences, that there is often very little actual benefit to such training & carriage. The intrigue of information being conveyed is what is now valued by the readership, not the quality of its delivery (or even the quality of the content itself for the most part)

        1. avatar Joe Wright says:

          If you wish to grade all communications, please show your teacheing certificate.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Just unprofessional.”

        Hey, Rog?

        If you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, OK?

        Buh-bye now…

      3. avatar Cundalini says:

        Yeah Rog, if you’re that upset about it, just go read something else. And, If a typo really bothers you that much, you’re a weirdo.

        (can I start a sentence with “and”?)

    2. avatar ironicatbest ironicatbest says:

      ” student student” he he gets paid paid by the word word

  4. avatar Shire-man says:

    Should show up wearing a action demanding mom shirt and see what happens.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Attaboys from like-minded staff & teachers. Naturally.

      “Mere days after the plaintiff was disciplined for wearing FPC’s pro-gun rights shirt, students at the school participated in the National School Walkout, a formal, organized protest calling for expansive new gun control measures.”

      https://www.ammoland.com/2018/04/neveda-school-bans-students-pro-gun-rights-tee-shirt-and-free-speech/#axzz5DpA76ptZ

  5. avatar Paul Mcmichael says:

    When I was in high school every truck in the parking lot had a rifle/shotgun in during hunting season. Including mine. We also (gasp!) Carried pocket knives. Guess what? No school shootings. Now a kid can’t wear a T-shirt? I dispair for our country and nation.

  6. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Take that money out of that teachers check. The teacher is just as much at fault as the district is. The blanket immunity these people receive from the teachers union is a joke, and needs to be fixed. Violation of civil rights is a big deal, and if you are the perpetrator of such actions, you need to be held responsible.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Aren’t civil rights crimes more immune to claims of qualified professional immunity? That district, or even better those teachers, may be on their own. Hopefully this kid uses the experience as a springboard to full time advocacy. Our side desperately needs community organizers (yeah their existence is as noble as insurance salesmen or advertisers, but we should all realize they do get the job done better than amateurs when needed)

  7. avatar barnbwt says:

    Yeah, but that kid in Parkland being harassed by the security goons over pro-gun tweets from a range trip over the weekend is grandstanding, and not part of a broad, systematic suppression of undesirable thought in public schools closely affiliated with anti-gun political parties.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I hope they put those two together to ‘strategize’.

      That kids need to announce to that school he he starting a pro-2A club and dare them to shut it down…

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Hope be wins…however lots of schools are going to uniform dress. Shoulda’ seen the BS we had to put up with when I was in 8th grade-50some years ago.

  9. avatar Marcus says:

    As long as the school claims some sort of expected disruption as a result of the shirt, they’re in the clear. Unfortunately the courts have systemically eroded the 1st amendment rights of public school students since Tinker, which was itself a rather weak high water mark. This probably contributes to the collegiate free speech problem.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/25/misconceptions-about-free-speech-begin-before-coll/

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “As long as the school claims some sort of expected disruption as a result of the shirt, they’re in the clear.”

      They lose that protection if they take an anti-2A stance. Like holding that anti-2A ‘protest’ they are planning…

    2. avatar Chris Morton says:

      Content discrimination is facially prohibited. Nobody better have been allowed to have an anti-gun display during the previous walkout.

  10. avatar rt66paul says:

    It is sad that the only way to change school policy is to get a big monetary settlement. The teachers that are forcing him to cover his shirt or ridicule him by making him wear it inside out need to be fined, get time off or ultimately get fired for this.

    The problem here is it is a global conspiracy by the people who control the industrial world. They do NOT want citizens having firearms because they want all of us under control. They are dictating to our politicians that they want this. Sadly, most, in both parties, agree. The Dems make it part of their platform, the Reps are ready to deal down slowly(to appease their constituents), but make no mistake, they want firearms in their control. They do not want a country where the people can take or attempt to take control of their country back as Jefferson and others wrote. They want the country under their control. They love the 2 party system, they keep us polarized on issues that they do not care about, but firearms, they do want to take. This is why every shooting by a white man is national news.
    We have 300 million people in this country. The relatively few shootings show the good guys with guns’ restraint. The gang shootings are not important to them, they want to show the country and the world that it is guns that are causing the problem, not the people behind the firearm.

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      Those damned patriotic Americans and that pesky Constitution are getting in the way of our new world order.. 2 party system monopoly, good cop bad cop same police department

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    When is that kid going to learn that the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to the 2nd? Well, it doesn’t apply in the psychopath factory known as a “public school.” The only thing that matters there are the little tin gods who run it.

  12. avatar Joe R. says:

    Nice shirt,

    Broward Deputies Vote ‘No Confidence’ On Sheriff Israel
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/26/broward-deputies-vote-no-confidence-on-sheriff-israel/

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “The deputies of Broward County have issued a stunning rebuke of Sheriff Scott Israel by voting “no confidence” in his leadership.

      The deputies voted “no confidence” by a 534-94 margin and will ask Florida Governor Rick Scott to remove Israel from his position.”

      534-94.

      *Nice*… 😉

      1. avatar JD says:

        The 94 should also be out on their collective asses. Probably all upper management and that’s the problem.

      2. avatar Scoutino says:

        That’s what he gets for his “excellent” leadership!

  13. avatar Ed says:

    No help from the NRA…Go figure. Theres no money in helping this kid so I guess he can go F himself, as far as the NRA is concerened.

  14. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Lefty DemoCommie schools run by the Teachers Union….The underlying piece of these school walk-outs and Protests…Kids have become the unscrupulous pawns of the National Teacher’s Union…If anyone looked closely, beside the teacher and kids waving signs to ban “Ar-15’s “…It usually says “MY Teacher needs a raise, My Teacher needs better benefits, My Teacher needs a better contract! ” So Yes, Political Pawns for the Teachers Unions!

  15. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    The kid should go into school library and pick out a few books from the history section. I’m sure he can find many pictures of weapons and battle scenes. This will point out the school’s hypocrisy. His legal team should then call for the school officials’ terminations for violating their own policy.

  16. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    When he and his attorney win, the money will go into a nice little trust for when he turns 18 and wants to buy his first gun.
    I wonder what’ll be left then…

    1. avatar Toni says:

      if the banks have their way…… nothing. why do you think they want bail in laws…. so they can get bailed out of troubles of their own making by deliberate and blatant theft from their customers

  17. avatar Chris Morton says:

    The brownshirts of the far left need to learn that “lawfare” works both ways.

  18. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    Cripes, if I somehow got magically reversed into being the age of an 8th grader again and so as not to arouse suspicion, had to re-do the whole junior high and high school thing, I’d be getting “disciplined” far more than I ever did back then when I actually was in those grades. Back then, I was a total goody-two-shoes, thought getting a detention would be the End of the World, now I look back on all that and laugh. High school generally doesn’t mean a damned thing for your life once you get out. Even that whole bit claiming that you must do stellar in high school so as to get into a good college or you’ll never go anywhere is BS too.

    You could do poorly in high school, get out, work a job, maybe learn a trade, go to community college for say math and science, study and work hard, get good grades, transfer to a four or five-year engineering or science university, get good grades, then go on to a good graduate, medical, law, business, etc…school. The irony is that you might even get a better education in the basic math and science classes at the community college because unlike a lot of these top universities which are research universities, so the professors are focused mostly on research with teaching as secondary, and thus oftentimes you end up getting taught things like calculus by a TA, at a community college you would be taught by a dedicated professor. That’s getting into a tangent, but I mean none of this is affected by your having gotten “disciplined” for wearing outlawed shirts.

    If I was that kid, I’d be wearing gun shirts every day, or at least to the extent that I could without it affecting my education severely 😀

    1. avatar Toni says:

      i would have too if we had not had a strict “uniform” policy. even then i flouted it quite a bit. debated the english teacher over animal farm on stuff i saw in it that was not even in the teachers manual in front of the class (she loved and hated me for that one because i had the ability to debate it properly yet i showed her that her teachers manual was not infallible). i was also the only one in the class who could see the deeper meanings in the book beyond the basics. i used to go down the the local cop shop in town and debate liberty and law with the cops on duty. and according to my parents i was the most “difficult” because i questioned EVERYTHING from a very young age (yes i did get a lot of beltings cos of it). i also copped the cane a few times at school. however that being said i was also the only student in the school who was permitted access to the gardeners shed, and i was also permitted after about the first 6 months to work unsupervised in the woodwork shop during lunch break. there was a bench in the gardeners shed where i had my leatherwork tools set up and i used to make all sorts of different leather goods for other students in there for a small profit. the only reason i got those privileges was that other than questioning authority and the small teenage rebellions like Blouse untucked or wearing “excessive” jewelery (which could be as simple as having a necklace that had anything more than a simple cross on it). i was respectful and responsible far beyond any of the other students. growing up i had been being raised to take over the family farm so heavy responsibility had been thrust on me fairly early which none of the other students had had in their lives

  19. avatar ironicatbest says:

    The shirt heard around the world

  20. avatar michael says:

    there is nothing wrong with that t-shirt, it just displays someones support of their 2nd amendment rights. the school district should be sued and forced to pay the student and his family the maximum amount allowed by law!!

  21. avatar MIO says:

    I hope he wins. This needs to stop

  22. avatar Treedodger says:

    …teacher responded that he could have his “Second Amendment rights when he turns eighteen”

    I am sure the teacher was quickly reprimanded by administration that the correct age is now 21.

  23. avatar Timothy V Noecker says:

    I’d Sure Wish That The American Public School Systems Would Start Concerning Themselves With Teaching Our Youth About American History Instead Of Worrying About What a student Wears To Class, That Would be Great…

  24. avatar Eric says:

    What is a “yoot?”

  25. avatar Martin Kinnaman says:

    Interesting that the school and teacher do not understand the first 10 Amendments. 8th grade would be about 13. So, a child that has completed his first cycle of life can not wear a shirt.
    It is sad that he can wear most other shirts that depict all sorts of messages, yet something that mirrors one of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America is NOT allowed?
    What possible excuse can the Principle and teacher have? They will lose their jobs, and should, for this transgression.

    1. avatar michael says:

      i agree, the school corporation should be sued for the obstruction of a students constitutional rights, and i am a liberal gun owner but very strongly support our 2nd amendment rights!!

  26. avatar Alan says:

    As I understand, correction is warranted, school officials were silent about, if not supportive of anti gun student walkouts, but this students attire is problematic. There is something about this business that just smells bad, the smell getting worse with the passage of time.

  27. avatar Bob of SE Texas says:

    I would like them to take the principal and the teacher for every dollar they have, miss use of their office. Ask for $100,000 from the school district. Then forgive the districts money if they will firearm safety training and a pellet rifle or trap shooting program. That would send the correct message, without making the taxpayers of the district pay for the failures of a few bad individuals.

    1. avatar Toni says:

      quite agree with you. that would send a quite clear message that could not be denied

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