It’s somewhat amusing how uppity some Christians can get when their (not so) subtle attempts to proselytize are disrupted by rules they don’t like. Be it taking down Ten Commandment plaques from Government buildings or, say, wearing shirts with religious slogans in violation of a school dress code. It seems that Highland High School in Indiana, like many schools across the nation, have implemented a new dress code requiring students to wear khakis and polo shirts and prohibits shirts with any slogans or logos on them. Teenager Brittany Brown decided to ignore that dress code by wearing a t-shirt promoting her Christian beliefs on four different occasions and was finally suspended on Monday as a result.
Naturally this has led her mother, Tracy Prochnow, to start playing the “poor persecuted Christians” card:
The mother of a student who was suspended for violating her school system’s dress code says the rules unfairly target religion, WRTV in Indianapolis reported.
Prochnow said the school may be violating her daughter’s rights, and she has asked the school board to change the code.
“I don’t believe it matters what she’s wearing—whether it be a T-shirt and jeans or polo and khakis—as to what she’s going to learn,” Prochnow told WRTV.
I’m no big fan of dress codes myself, though given what passes for fashion these days I think some regulation is in order, but she’s got a hard case ahead of her if she really wants to claim that her daughter’s rights are being violated. The courts have ruled on a number of occasions that students have a much more limited right to free speech in a school setting and that schools have a lot of leeway on determining what is an isn’t a reasonable dress code.
The front of Brittany’s T-shirt features a cross and the words “This Shirt Is Illegal In 51 Countries.” The back quotes the Bible’s Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God … the salvation of everyone who believes.”
“The school is basically saying I can’t wear a shirt that talks about Jesus or Christ or God or any religious type of T-shirt because we have to wear a polo,” Brittany said.
The school’s principal, Mark Finger, said the dress code doesn’t target religious beliefs.
“The policy states there are to be no logos or slogans on a shirt,” Finger said.
If the school had a policy that specifically and only limited the ban to shirts with religious messages on them then these folks might have a leg to stand on, but it doesn’t and they don’t. It’s a very reasonable policy and the only reason these folks are upset is because it prevents them from engaging in a silent form of preaching to others. Ah, but there’s an advantage to being part of the majority religion:
A city council member, Ollie Dixon, said he would work to change the policy. It wasn’t clear what changes he would favor.
I wonder if Mr. Dixon would be so keen to get involved if the shirt in question promoted an Islamic or Pagan message. I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts he’d laugh them out of his office.
Smell that? That’s the stench of Christian hypocrisy at its worst.