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Nuxoll v. Indian Prairie

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by

Leigh Cook

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Nuxoll v. Indian Prairie

In the spring of 2011, Nuxoll and Zamecnik, two Neuqua Valley High School students, were prohibited from wearing t-shirts bearing the slogan Zamecnik and Nuxoll
vs.
Indian Prairie School
District #204 The Students' Argument The students argued that the school could not prohibit them from wearing these shirts because that violated their right to free expression. They argued that their shirts did not cause a "substantial disruption" nor were they "particularly insidious" (Britton). School's Argument The school argued that the shirts could cause a substantial disruption in school, and that they were "particularly insidious." They wrote reports about hate crimes and harassment towards gay and lesbian students, trying to persuade the court of the dangerous situation that the shirts could cause (Britton). What do you think the courts decided? What was the ruling? In Nuxoll, the district court denied a preliminary injunction that would allow the plaintiffs to wear the shirts to school, but the 7th Circuit reversed the decision on the grounds that the shirts worn by the students did not include "fighting words," did not cause a substantial disruption, nor were they "particularly insidious." The court stated that “a school that permits advocacy of the rights of homosexual students cannot be allowed to stifle criticism of homosexuality.” The school also cited unreported incidents about harassment, making their testimony less persuasive (Britton). What Happened If schools cannot prevent students from wearing shirts with such provocative slogans and meanings, how do you think they should go about preventing bullying and harassment? BE HAPPY, NOT GAY Zamecnik wore the shirt to school the day after the school's Day of Silence. He was sent to the Dean's Office, and 'Not Gay' was crossed off his shirt. Nuxoll filed for a preliminary injunction that would allow him to wear the shirt to school (Britton). Work cited
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