12-year-old stands up to school board after he was kicked out of class for ‘Only 2 Genders’ t-shirt

12-year-old stands up to school board after he was kicked out of class for ‘Only 2 Genders’ t-shirt

A video of a middle school student defending to a school board his decision to wear a T-shirt affirming biological truth has gone viral.

During an April 13 school committee meeting, Liam Morrison, a seventh grader at John T. Nichols, Jr. Middle School in Middleborough, MA, recounted his experience of being removed from class because of the message on his shirt, “There are only two genders”. He also pointedly asked why he was barred from practicing his First Amendment rights.

Although the meeting took place last month, the clip of the boy’s testimony began circulating on social media this week after being posted on TikTok.

“Hello, good evening, my name is Liam Morrison,” the 12-year-old began. “I never thought the shirt I wore on March 21 would lead me to speak with you today. On that Tuesday morning, I was taken out of gym class to sit down with two adults for what turned out to be a very uncomfortable talk.”

“I was told that people were complaining about the words on my shirt, that my shirt was making some students feel unsafe. Yes, words on a shirt made people feel unsafe. They told me that I wasn’t in trouble, but it sure felt like I was.”

Morrison recounted how the adults informed him he would be required to change his shirt before being allowed back in class and how his father was called when he declined to do so. The boy was taken home from school by his “dad [who] supported my decisions.”

“What did my shirt say? Five simple words: ‘There are only two genders.’ Nothing harmful, nothing threatening. Just a statement I believe to be a fact. I have been told that my shirt was targeting a protected class. Who is this protected class? Are their feelings more important than my rights?”

The boy stated that he doesn’t complain about the “pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school,” citing the reality that “others have a right to their beliefs just as I do.” He also said that he was never once confronted by any student or staff member who told him “they were bothered by what I was wearing.” Instead, “several kids told me that they supported my actions and that they wanted one, too.”

Despite being told that the shirt was “a disruption to learning,” Morrison refuted the claim by sharing that “no one got up and stormed out of class” or “burst into tears.” He pointed out that there are daily disruptions that go unaddressed, such as “kids acting out in class.”

“Why do the rules apply to one yet not another?” he wondered. “I feel like these adults were telling me that it wasn’t okay for me to have an opposing view…I know that I have a right to wear the shirt with those five words. Even at 12 years old I have my own political opinions, and I have a right to express those opinions, even at school. This right is called the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

“My hope in being here tonight is to bring the school committee’s attention to this issue,” the boy concluded. “I hope that you will speak up for the rest of us so we can express ourselves without being pulled out of class. Next time it may not only be me. There might be more students that decide to speak out.”