The Constitutional right to free speech is defended and upheld whether you like the message or not. Such is the reason the ACLU stepped in to defend a student at Central Coast High School in Orcutt, California, which is just outside Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The shirt featured a graphic of former President Bill Clinton done in the style of the Shepard Fairey Obama Hope poster from the 2008 election. But instead of “hope” below the graphic, it said “rape.”
In an interview with KCOY, 11th grader Brett Abel said that he has the right to wear whatever he wants.
“On September 6th, my school informed me that my shirt was offensive and sexually suggestive,” student Brett Abel said. That’s when Abel called the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“And they’re now defending me and trying to get the school to change their policies,” Abel said. He’s been wearing controversial shirts all year, including one that read “Hillary for Prison 2016.”
“Teachers tend not to like my t-shirts but the students always like them, they always compliment my shirts,” Abel said.
Abel said that he wore the shirt because he wants people to know “Clinton is a rapist and that people should look it up and find out more,” he told KCOY.
The school has a zero tolerance policy for disruptions to students and teachers in the classroom and they’re fighting back against Abel in court. Their dress code policy, in part, prevents:
“Clothing, jewelry and personal items shall be free of writing, pictures or any other insignia which are crude, vulgar, profane or sexually suggestive… or which advocate racial, ethnic or religious prejudice.
Given the sexual and vulgar nature of the shirt, the administration took a tough stance on the shirt and say that they will make a final decision soon.
“I just think people aren’t informed and they need to start doing some research with this upcoming election,” Abel explained.
Check out the full report below via KCOY: