The Boy Who Knew Too Much for His School
Exposing trans madness in education doesn’t require advanced degrees, political influence, charisma, or even 18 years of life, as one plucky middle-schooler demonstrated. At the April 13 School Committee Meeting for Middleboro, Mass. Public Schools, 7th grader Liam Morrison, a student at Nichols Middle School, stepped up to the microphone for two minutes of public comment — and then reached up to turn it down towards his mouth. He then narrated for the school committee what might be the silliest reason any student has ever been sent home from school: wearing a shirt conveying factually accurate information.
“I never thought the shirt I wore to school on March 21 would lead me to speak with you today,” began the pint-sized culture warrior. He described how he was removed from his Tuesday 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.”
“What did my shirt say? Five simple words: ‘There are only two genders,’ Morrison emphasized. “Nothing harmful. Nothing threatening. Just a statement I believe to be a fact.” And not only a fact, but a bedrock principle to many lessons Morrison would likely have encountered in both biology class and grammar class.
“Yes, words on a shirt made people feel ‘unsafe,’” repeated Morrison. If people did complain, they lacked the courage to tell Morrison to his face. In this instance, the accused was not accorded the right to face his accusers, making their very existence unverifiable. Morrison recalled, “Not one person, student, or staff, told me that they were bothered by what I was wearing. Actually, just the opposite. Several kids told me that they supported my actions and that they wanted one, too.”
“I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class,” Morrison continued. “When I nicely told them that I didn’t want to do that, they called my father. Thankfully, my dad supported my decisions [and] came to pick me up.” In other words, because Morrison’s shirt proclaimed a fact of biology and language that he learned (or should have learned) in school, school personnel sent him home — which would hinder his ability to learn — to quarantine his knowledge from other students.
School personnel tried to justify their decision to Morrison, who said, “Their arguments were weak, in my opinion.” The Nichols Middle School dress code does not prohibit students from wearing clothing that displays a message — which is sometimes the case in a controversy of this nature — and school personnel did not object to Morrison’s shirt on that basis. Instead, they claimed that the shirt was disruptive and targeted a protected class.
The dress code does provide:
- “Clothing that … inhibits learning is not allowed.”
- “Clothing must not state, imply, or depict hate speech or imagery that target groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other classification.”
“I was told that this shirt was a disruption to learning,” said Morrison. But “no one got up and stormed out of class. No one burst into tears. 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?” A healthy measure of common sense lies underneath the crew cut.
“I have been told that my shirt was ‘targeting a protected class,’” explained Morrison. But he had questions. “Who is this protected class? 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.” Here Morrison argues for the basic principle of free speech, that merely holding and stating a political opinion does not count as hate speech against anyone who disagrees.
It’s not the dress code itself that Morrison spoke out against, but the illegitimate, arbitrary, and unequal way school personnel enforced it against him for his disfavored political views.
Per the dress code policy, Morrison was asked to change. “If students wear something inappropriate to school, they will be asked to call their parent/guardian to request that more appropriate attire be brought to school.” Since he was unwilling, and his father supported his decision, he was sent home. Yet Morrison could face “disciplinary action” if he wears the shirt to school again.
Even while they were enforcing the dress code policy against Morrison, the school officials seemed reluctant to admit what they were doing. “They told me that I wasn’t in trouble, but it sure felt like I was,” said Morrison. “I feel like these adults were telling me that it wasn’t okay for me to have an opposing view.”
But Morrison responded, “I know that I have a right to wear the 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.”
In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Supreme Court prohibited prayer at high school graduations because “adolescents are often susceptible to pressure from their peers towards conformity.” They reasoned, “What to most believers may seem nothing more than a reasonable request that the nonbeliever respect their religious practices, in a school context may appear to the nonbeliever or dissenter to be an attempt to employ the machinery of the State to enforce a religious orthodoxy.” Now, the logic of the opinion is working in reverse, as “the machinery of the State” enforces the anti-religious orthodoxy of transgender ideology on adolescents who are just as susceptible to outside pressure as they were 30 years ago (although Morrison stands out as a remarkable contradiction of this generalization).
Alas, this is the state of public education in America today. Pride flags and other ostentatious celebrations of sexual deviance go unchallenged. But if a single 12-year-old wears a shirt stating the biological and grammatical truth, “there are only two genders,” two adults will pull him out of class to berate him for “targeting a protected class.” Content to let classroom disruption slide most of the time, if any young person has the temerity to wear a truth-telling shirt to class, the school will disrupt his education to call him disruptive.
What other shirt messages might, for simply telling the truth, fall afoul of this ridiculous interpretation of the dress code? Here’s a few likely candidates: “2+2=4 is math, not white supremacy,” “Life begins at conception,” “Latinx is bad Spanish,” or “Jesus is the only way.”
“I learned a lot from this experience,” concluded Morrison. “I’ve learned that a lot of other students share my view. I’ve learned that adults don’t always do the right thing or make the right decisions. … Next time, it might not only be me. There might be more students that decide to speak out.” Education experts have determined to train students as activists, calculating that they can harness their convictions into a left-wing political agenda, but with just a few brave freethinkers like Morrison, teaching students to stand up for truth and right may just backfire.
Just about any young person would find it intimidating to stand up and speak before nine adults in a formal setting — not least one beginning to experience the awkward and uncomfortable physical changes of puberty. But Morrison was not deterred; after all, it’s his future education and free expression that he’s fighting for. His generation (and every other one) could use a few more courageous men willing to stand up for what’s right.
“I didn’t go to school that day to hurt feelings or cause trouble,” Morrison told the school committee. “My hope in being here tonight is to bring the school committee’s attention to this issue. I hope that you will speak up for the rest of us, so we can express ourselves without being pulled out of class.”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.