CitizenLink: Student Sent Home for Protest of Gay Day of Silence:

4-23-2007

Student Sent Home for Protest of Gay Day of Silence

from staff reports

At issue: A piece of tape on his shirt that read, ‘I’m straight.’

A 15-year-old Michigan student’s expression of mild opposition to a pro-homosexual event at his school got him sent home for the day. Now he’s arguing for his right to free speech.

David Gardner didn’t agree with Oakridge High School’s observance of the Day of Silence, during which proponents of homosexuality place tape over their mouths or refuse to speak, even in class. As part of the event, participants pass out pro-gay literature to students.

David grabbed a piece of tape, wrote “I’m straight” on it and stuck it to his shirt as his personal protest.

“Something just clicked,” he told Family News in Focus. “I was like, you know, this is wrong, and somebody’s got to stand up, so I did.”

Some of David’s friends expressed their support by printing Bible verses on T-shirts and wearing them to school. Two were asked to go home on Friday because of the shirts.

Gardner said his courage comes from the messages his father, John Gardner, preaches.

“When is the church of Jesus Christ going to come out of its closet and take its place in society the way it’s supposed to be?” his father asked. “If we don’t stand up sooner or later, we’re going to run into more trouble than we’re going to know what to do with.”

David said the trampling of his First Amendment rights “scares him.”

“The church isn’t standing up,” he said, “so I figured I’d be the first one to start.”

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