South Dakota: Two Steven High School seniors who wore t-shirts to school advocating the passage of Initiated Measure 4, the medical marijuana ballot issue, SAY their rights to political free speech were violated when the school principal confiscated the shirts, which were decorated with the image of a marijuana leaf. Get the story here.
Rapid City superintendent of schools Peter Wharton said Thursday the incident was a violation of school policy, not political rights. School policy forbids clothing that displays images of alcohol, drugs or tobacco products on school grounds.
This fall, numerous SHS students have worn t-shirts with an image of a human fetus and the message “Save a Life, Vote Yes on Referred Law 6.” “We had been seeing all these abortion shirts at school, and we thought, OK, I guess we can get political,” Valenzuela said of his decision to wear the shirt to school. Valenzuela’s green, tie-dyed shirt features a white, stylized image of a marijuana leaf, along with the hand-lettered message, “Vote Yes on Initiated Measure 4.”
Valenzuela and Fuentes say they will take Wharton up on his invitation to continue their medical marijuana t-shirt campaign, sans image, in the days leading up to Tuesday’s election.
Still there needs to be the argument of why not allow students to wear a shirt that is clearly not supporting the use of marijuana in general, but instead a specific ballot issue? This is a way to get students involved in the political process and if anything they should be applauded for their efforts. Besides, a hemp leaf is always nicer to look at than a fetus. ( Not just my opinion).
But hey, look at the bright side, maybe this school just helped us get two more SSDP members!