California Mom Sues Over Daughter’s Right to Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt to School

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 6
, 2009

Merced, CA ( — A California mother is filing a lawsuit against her daughter’s school district alleging that officials made her remove the pro-life t-shirt she wore. Anna Amador says her daughter wore the shirt on National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day in April 2008 but officials at McSwain Elementary School prohibited her from doing so.

Amador says the school violated her daughter’s First Amendment rights, and so she is headed to court to defend the seventh-grader.

The shirt displays the word abortion with two images of a developing unborn child and a black box. It says, “Abortion: Growing, Growing, Gone.”

In the complaint, according to a Fox News story, Amador says school principal Terrie Rohrer office clerk Martha Hernandez mistreated her daughter and ordered her to leave the cafeteria, where they found her wearing the shirt.

“Upon arriving at the main office, Defendant Hernandez, intentionally and without Plaintiff’s consent, grabbed Plaintiff’s arm and forcibly escorted her toward Smith’s office, at all times maintaining a vice-like grip on Plaintiff’s arm,” the complaint alleges. “Hernandez only released Plaintiff’s arm after physically locating her in front of Smith and Defendant Rohrer.”

“Smith and Rohrer ordered Plaintiff to remove her pro-life T-shirt and instructed Plaintiff to never wear her pro-life T-shirt at McSwain Elementary School ever again,” it says.

The suit says the young girl was “completely humiliated and held out for ridicule” and that school officials would not let have her shirt back until the end of the day.

Anthony N. DeMaria, attorney for the McSwain Union Elementary School District, told Fox News the school disputes the lawsuit’s account of the events.

“I think the school district has a very strong defense,” DeMaria said. “The complaint does not properly characterize the events that happened. Certainly we dispute some of the events.”

The school district tried to get a judge to throw the case out, but the U.S. Eastern District Court judge allowed all but one of Amador’s claims to proceed.

Fox News indicates school officials claimed abortion constituted “inappropriate subject matter” and that the shirt violated the school’s dress code.

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