Transcript of Twelve-Year-Old Liam Morrison’s Comments To Middleborough School Committee On Thursday, April 13

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/04/28/transcript-of-twelve-year-old-liam-morrisons-comments-to-middleborough-school-committee-on-thursday-april-13/

Editor’s Note:  Below is a nearly complete transcript of comments made by Liam Morrison, 12, of Middleborough, to the Middleborough School Committee on Thursday, April 13, 2023.  His comments start at 9:37 of the video at the bottom.

 

Hello. Good evening. My name is Liam Morrison. … I’m in the 7th-10th grade at Nichols Middle School. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today. 

I never thought that the shirt I wore to school 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. I was told that I would need to remove my shirt before I could return to class. When I nicely told them that I didn’t want to do that, they called my father. Thankfully, my dad supported my decisions and came to pick me up. 

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? I don’t complain when I see pride flags and diversity posters hung throughout the school. Do you know why? Because others have a right to their beliefs just as I do. 

Not one person, staff, or student told me that they were bothered by what I was wearing. Actually, just the opposite. Several kids told me that they supported my actions and that they wanted one too. 

I was told that the shirt was a disruption to learning. No one got up and stormed out of class, no one burst into tears. I’m sure I would have noticed if they had. I experience disruptions to my learning every day. Kids acting out in class are a disruption yet nothing is done. Why do the rules apply to one yet not another? I feel like these adults were telling me that it wasn’t O.K. for me to have an opposing view. Their arguments were weak, in my opinion. I didn’t go to school that day to hurt feelings or cause trouble. 

I have learned a lot from this experience. I learned that a lot of other students share my view. I learned that adults don’t always do the right thing or make the right decisions. I know that I have a right to wear a 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. 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.

Thank you for your time, and good night.

 

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