Wear It With Pride
Gay teen wins lawsuit against school after being anti-homophobia shirt violated dress code.
A gay Ohio high school student who sued his high school for prohibiting him from wearing a T-shirt designed to urge tolerance will be allowed to wear the shirt to school whenever he chooses.
A judgment issued Monday allows 16-year-old Maverick Couch to wear the "Jesus Is Not A Homophobe" T-shirt to school.
The Warren County School district will also pay $20,000 in damages and court costs.
The lawsuit alleged school district had violated Couch's 1st Amendment rights to free expression.
Couch said the shirt is a statement of pride and he hopes other students now know they can feel pride, too.
"Sometimes there are people who are terrible to you and call you names and throw things at you but there are so many more people who support you," Couch said. "It's just really cool that justice has been served. I can wear my shirt. Equality is now started in my school."
The teen said he never intended for the situation to get out of hand but he had to stand up for himself.
"I don't think anybody wanted it to get this big and upsetting for anyone, but it's what had to be done," Couch said.
Couch thanks his family for giving him the strength to always be himself.