lesbian barbie?

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lesbian barbie?

Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:48 pm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York teen-ager has alleged teachers violated her civil rights when they suspended her from school for wearing a "Barbie is a Lesbian" T-shirt.
Lawyers who filed a lawsuit on her behalf in Manhattan federal court on Thursday said 14-year-old Natalie Young is openly lesbian and that a teacher laughed at her, calling the garment and its reference to the popular Barbie doll "inappropriate."

Young alleged that the principal held her for three hours in an office at the school in the borough of Queens on April 10, 2002 and refused to allow her to return to class while she wore the T-shirt.

A spokesman for the city education department, a defendant in the lawsuit, declined immediate comment.

Young was suspended for the day and the principal threatened to send her home again if she wore the T-shirt to school in future, the lawsuit alleged.

"Schools cannot legally engage in this type of selective, content-based suppression of speech," lawyer Dan Perez said. "If she had worn a 'Barbie Supports the Troops in the War in Iraq' T-shirt, she would have been called a patriot."

Perez said that on another school day before the T-shirt incident, teachers made Young remove rainbow coloured beads from her hair, although she was not suspended then.

The lawsuit, which names the education department, school principal and several teachers as defendants, seeks a declaration from the court that Young's constitutional right to free speech was violated. It asks the department to issue guidelines on students' dress and on dealing with students' expression of their sexual orientation.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the name of the student's mother, Kathleen Hodges, because Young is a minor, also seeks unspecified monetary damages.

"That is not the most important issue here but if a jury decides to contribute to Natalie's college fund, all the better," Perez said.
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Postby Nyufrost » Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:11 am

Well, first of all, I disagree with her lawyer when he says "schools cannot legally engage in this type of selective, content-based suppression of speech."

Schools have always had the right to impose dress codes though many choose not to do so. If the girl wore a t-shirt that is defined as inappropriate in the student handbook then she should have no case and it is just another example of a frivolous lawsuit.

The lawyer is also comparing apples with oranges when he mentions troop support in conjuntion with sexual preference.

Does the school allow other sexual references on tshirts? If so, then she has a case that she was discriminated against because of her sexual preference.

Otherwise, she is saying the school owes her special treatment *because* she's a lesbian, which is ludcrous.
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Postby TerraFrost » Wed Jun 25, 2003 1:41 pm

yup... i agree. this is kinda like the point i made about homosexual marriages in a TZ thread, hehe :)
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Postby Evlfrost » Wed Jun 25, 2003 8:01 pm

[quote]Schools have always had the right to impose dress codes though many choose not to do so[quote]

I dont belive that schools should have that right imo
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Postby frank-the-weinerdog » Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:59 am

Well, firstly, I think it is a violation of all other students rights to attend school in an atmosphere which is not ABSENT from sexually oriented material which isnt organized and supervised by a teacher.

To announce that Barbi is a lesbian is, well, just about as "look at me I am different" as you can get, and its absurd. I am willing to bet this childs parents arranged to have the child wear the shirt, in hopes of a confrontation which would result in civil litigation.

pathetic either way.

This child should have been sent home to change the shirt plain and simple.

As far as a dress code, there are many good reasons why a school should require one, and a few reasons why they shouldnt, free expression of sexuality is not acceptable, especially before the legal age of consent. Theres nothing unconstitutional about it, "freedom of speach" is just that, freedom to speak. The shirt doesnt speak. So if shewants someone to know she, or barbi is lesbian, she has a right to tell who ever she wants. The constitutional right to freedom of speach DOES NOT remove accountabilty for what you say!

Just my 2 cents.
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Postby Neerowolf » Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:08 pm

well, I don't think it goes against freedom of speech because she has the right to say what she wants, as long as it doesn't delay someones pursuit of happiness. Whos pursuit of happiness would i delay? Barbies? I don't think the constitution mentions anything about a popular doll with a size 23" waist.

thats my 3 cents
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Postby Nyufrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:22 pm

At this rate then my reply is worth 4 cents ... :)

Those are some good points, Frank. There is a big difference between "freedom of expression" (such as wearing a sexually oriented tshirt or burning the flag) and in "freedom of speech" which is just as you said, the right to *speak* freely. While "freedom of speech" is a constitutional right, "freedom of expression" is not yet, sadly, few people are able to make the distinction.

Evl, as Frank said, there are many good reasons for schools to impose dress codes and limitations as to what sort of tshirts can be worn. The main reason is that certain types of attire are distracting or can be inflamatory. The latter could cause fights between students while the former could cause interruptions to classroom procedures.

Face it ... if the girl sitting just in your line of site is braless and wearing a revealing see-thru top and playing with her bellybutton ring, aren't you going to be paying more attention to her than to the teacher thus being distracted from learning what you are in school to learn?

Tshirts that advocate or advertise drinking, smoking, sexual practices are not appropriate in most schools so I don't see the school did anything wrong in sending her home to change.
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Postby TerraFrost » Thu Jun 26, 2003 6:54 pm

Those are some good points, Frank. There is a big difference between "freedom of expression" (such as wearing a sexually oriented tshirt or burning the flag) and in "freedom of speech" which is just as you said, the right to *speak* freely. While "freedom of speech" is a constitutional right, "freedom of expression" is not yet, sadly, few people are able to make the distinction.


i don't think it's that many people are able to make the distinction so much as don't think there even is one. i'm sure if they wanted to, they could make a distinction, but they just don't think one should be made.

and i think i'm with the latter... i don't think a distinction should be made, but that's a topic for a different thread, heh.

as for censorship in schools... i think i'm indifferent.
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Postby Nyufrost » Sat Jun 28, 2003 2:09 am

Well, one is spoken and one is an act, but I suppose they both convey one's feelings about an issue. :)

Since Barbie and Ken have been marketed as a "dream couple" for generations, then perhaps Mattel (makers of Barbie) should sue the shirt maker for defamation of Barbie's character. If nothing else, perhaps there is a licensing issue.
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Postby Icegaze » Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:12 pm

I think school's do have the right to impose dress codes.
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Postby kona » Sun Sep 14, 2003 11:32 am

Does anybody know where I can Buy such a t-shirt? :lol :crazy
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Postby tsian » Sun Sep 14, 2003 5:05 pm

Does the school allow other sexual references on tshirts? If so, then she has a case that she was discriminated against because of her sexual preference.

Do you honestly think they'd ask her to remove a shirt saying "Barbie is straight as an arrow" or "The Pope is Straight"?

Face it ... if the girl sitting just in your line of site is braless and wearing a revealing see-thru top and playing with her bellybutton ring, aren't you going to be paying more attention to her than to the teacher thus being distracted from learning what you are in school to learn?

And that has what, exactly, to do with a shirt proclaiming Barbie's sexual orientation?


Tshirts that advocate or advertise drinking, smoking, sexual practices are not appropriate in most schools so I don't see the school did anything wrong in sending her home to change


What was she advocating? More importantly, what was she advocating that was wrong (seeing as you seem to compare it to a shirt advocating things that are illegal for a high school student to consume)?
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