Court Allows “Be Happy, Not Gay” T-Shirts In School

On March 1, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago has upheld a decision by a trial court that entered a permanent injunction against Indian Prairie School District No. 204  that essentially allows students at the school to wear clothing or personal items bearing slogan “Be Happy, Not Gay” even though District 204 believed that such a slogan violated the school’s rule banning derogatory comments pertaining to sexual orientation.  To read a copy of the court’s ruling, click here Zamecnik v. Indian Prairie School District No. 204.

The court’s opinion noted that the school district allowed some students to participate in day of silence in support of homosexual students.  As such, the court held that the school district could not stifle criticism of homosexuality where instant slogan was not inflammatory.   Moreover, the court rejected the school’s argument that it had reasonable belief that slogan posed threat of substantial disruption in view of evidence that some homosexual students experienced harassment in school and one plaintiff experienced harassment from other students sympathetic to homosexual students.   Notably, the court held that entry of permanent injunction was not moot even though both plaintiffs no longer attended school since injunction covered all students at the school.

The law firm of DeBlasio Law Group, LLC has extensive experience in complex litigation matters in state and federal courts.  View our website at for more information about the firm.