A school district in Wisconsin is facing a lawsuit after the principal at Kettle Moraine High School told two students they were not allowed to wear pro-gun t-shirts. The lawsuit accuses the school's principal, Beth Kaminski, of violating their First Amendment rights to wear clothing showing support for the Second Amendment. Kaminski told the boys that their shirts violated the school's dress code, which prohibits wearing clothing that is considered threatening, violent, or illegal.
One of the students, Robert Newhouse, told WTMJ that he feels he is being targeted by school officials for his political beliefs.
"I definitely feel like it isn't fair because I see other people expressing their other beliefs I may disagree with," Newhouse said. "But I'm not going after them because of that. I feel like I'm getting targeted because of my political beliefs."
Robert's mother, Kimberly, told the news station that the shirts do not depict anything violent and are not threatening.
"I can understand if it was something that was very threatening or very violent," she said. "But just to be a picture and to be a supporter of our gun rights and be a supporter of just, legal ownership of guns, it was very upsetting."
Nik Clark, Chairman, and CEO of Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is funding the lawsuit and said that if schools allow students to express opinions against the Second Amendment, those who support gun rights should be given the same opportunity.
"If a school sanctions a walkout for gun control and to call for gun control, to call for universal background checks, to call for red flag laws, certainly they should at least allow students to wear a non-violent, non-threatening shirt as they go about their daily business," Clark said. "If we allow schools, for the first 18 years of kids' lives, to indoctrinate them with guns are evil, guns are bad, you can't even have a picture of a gun in a non-violent, non-threatening way, we wouldn't even have a right to carry movement. If we allow that kind of indoctrination to take place in the public schools."
Zack Zupke, Director of Communications for the Kettle Moraine School District, defended the decision to ban the shirts and said they are a violation of the dress code.
"The district cannot comment directly on a matter relating to particular students. We can say that it has been recognized by courts that the district has legitimate pedagogical concerns in preventing violence in its schools, and we take that concern seriously. Wearing shirts with images of weapons is not an issue of free speech, and it can be respectfully regulated by the District."