School bans anti-abortion T-shirt

29 Jun 2007
BBC News

A teenage mother has been banned from wearing an anti-abortion T-shirt to her secondary school in Aberdeenshire.

Sarah Scott, 16, who has a four-month-old son, was told that the black shirt with red lettering reading "abortion is murder" was offensive.

Staff at Banff Academy, where she is a pupil, said she faces exclusion from school if she wears it again.

But Ms Scott said she was being targeted for her views and claimed her freedom of speech had been violated.

The fifth year pupil, who is studying for her Highers wore the T-shirt on the school's non-uniform day.

Shock factor

"I was wearing the T-shirt when a teacher approached me and that I was never to wear it again because she found it offensive," she said. "I was told I could be excluded from school if I wear it again."

Ms Scott claimed that her views had been formed following the birth of her four-month-old son Jacob, which had opened her eyes to the issue.

"I was not just wearing the T-shirt for the shock factor - it is something I am passionate about; it is wrong to kill a baby," she added.

"I feel I am the one being targeted because I am anti-abortionist. It's not fair because other people get to air their views - wearing a crucifix, for example, as a sign of religion."

She argued that fellow pupils' T-shirts with the Playboy logo - which she claimed promoted pornography - were more offensive than her own.

Her mother, Gillian Cassie, said: "If is it a 'dress as you please' day, I don't see what the problem is.

"If you are going to stop Sarah from wearing her T-shirt, then where do you draw the line? I wonder if it would be the same if her T-shirt had been pro-choice."

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: "It was felt the statement on the T-shirt was inappropriate in a school setting and had the potential to cause offence."

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