12-Year-Old Boy Faces Legal Setback For Free Speech

Last week, a federal court in Massachusetts declined to issue a temporary injunction from a 12-year-old Middleborough boy who sued his school district over his right to wear a T-shirt featuring the caption, “there are only two genders,” the Washington Examiner reported.

Seventh grader Liam Morrison filed a federal lawsuit last month against officials from Middleborough Public Schools and Nichols Middle School, arguing that the district violated his right to free speech when the principal of Nichols Middle School sent him home from school after he refused to remove the allegedly offensive T-shirt.

The school purportedly barred Morrison from wearing the “there are only two genders” shirt, along with another that read, “There are censored genders,” claiming that the shirt made students at Nichols Middle School feel “unsafe.”

Morrison, who is being represented in the lawsuit by attorneys from the conservative non-profit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, had filed a motion for a temporary injunction to allow him to wear the shirt to school while his lawsuit is being heard.

But after a hearing in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the judge declined to issue the injunction.

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Logan Spena said despite the disappointing results from last Wednesday’s hearing, it is clear that the court is taking Morrison’s lawsuit seriously given the quick scheduling of hearings.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Spena told the Washington Examiner that “by quickly hearing our initial request” and scheduling a “follow-up hearing,” the court is showing that it takes the threats to Morrison’s free speech rights “very seriously” and seeks to decide the case before the school year ends.

Spena said he is hopeful that the court will “act to protect Liam’s rights” after next Tuesday’s hearing.

He added that students do not relinquish their right to free speech “when they walk into the school building.”