Massachusetts Boy Confronts School Board After Allegedly Being Punished for ‘There Are Only Two Genders’ Shirt: ‘Why Do the Rules Apply to One Yet Not Another?’

A 12-year-old Middleborough, Massachusetts school boy recently defended his First Amendment rights to his school committee after allegedly being sent home from school for making others feel unsafe by wearing a shirt that says, “There are only two genders.”

A video of Liam Morrison’s confrontation of his school committee was reported Sunday at the Libs of TikTok Twitter account.

Liam, a seventh grade student at Nichols Middle School was reportedly taken out of his gym class on March 21 and informed by school personnel complaints had been made about the statement on his shirt that read, “There are only two genders.”

School staff allegedly told Liam his shirt was causing others to feel “unsafe.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today,” Liam began his address to the committee on April 13. “I never thought that the shirt I wore to school on March 21 would lead me to speak with you today. On that Tuesday morning, I was taken out of gym class to sit down with two adults for what turned out to be a very uncomfortable talk. I was told that people were complaining about the words on my shirt – that my shirt was making some students feel unsafe.”

Liam further described the events that day:

Yes. Words on a shirt made people feel unsafe. They told me that I wasn’t in trouble, but it sure felt like I was. I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class. When I nicely told them that I didn’t want to do that, they called my father. Thankfully, my dad supported my decision and came to pick me up.

“What did my shirt say?” Liam addressed the committee. “Five simple words. There. Are. Only. Two. Genders. Nothing harmful, nothing threatening. Just a statement I believe to be a fact.”

“I have been told that my shirt was targeting a protected class,” Liam continued. “Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights?”

Liam then schooled the committee on the facts surrounding First Amendment 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. No one person, staff, or student told me that they were bothered by what I was wearing. Actually, just the opposite. Several kids told me that they supported my actions.

Liam alleged he was told by school staff that his shirt was “a disruption of learning.”

“No one got up and stormed out of class no one burst into tears,” he asserted nevertheless. “I’m sure I would have noticed if they had. I experience disruptions to my learning every day. Kids acting out in class are a disruption, yet nothing is done.”

“Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?” Liam asked the school committee. “I feel like these adults were telling me that it wasn’t okay for me to have an opposing view. Your arguments were weak in my opinion. I didn’t go to school that day to hurt feelings or cause trouble.”

Liam then proceeded to tell the committee what he has learned from his experience:

I learned that a lot of other students share my view. I learned that adults don’t always do the right thing or make the right decisions. I know that I have a right to wear that shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old, I have my own political opinions and I have a right to express those opinions, even at school. This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Liam concluded by stating he hopes the school committee “will speak up for the rest of us so we can express ourselves without being pulled out of class.”

“Next time it may not only be me, there might be more students that decide to speak out,” the seventh-grade student said. “Thank you for your time and good night.”

The Massachusetts Family Institute tweeted Sunday it will be providing legal support to Liam.

The Star News Network reached out to Middleborough School Committee Chairman Richard Young for comment on Liam’s address to the committee and whether those who show visible signs of belief that there are more than two genders, such as flags, stickers, and shirts, are also taken out of class. No immediate response was received.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Liam” by Libs of TikTok.


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