A student and his mom sued a high school principal and school district in Federal Court, challenging their diktat that the student’s T-shirt, “Jesus is not a Homophobe,” is “sexual in nature and therefore indecent”.

Maverick Couch and his mom Tonya Couch sued the Wayne Local School District and Waynesville High School Principal Randy Gebhardt.

Maverick says he wore the shirt to help raise awareness about the bullying of gay and lesbian students, and was forced to turn it inside out, and eventually “ordered … to remove the T-shirt or face suspension from school” because it supposedly “was ‘disrupting the educational process.'”

In addition to the slogan, the shirt bore an “ichthys,” or fish symbol, of two intersecting arcs, “now known colloquially as the ‘sign of the fish’ or the ‘Jesus fish,'” the complaint states. “During the early days of Christianity, when Christians were often persecuted by the Romans, the ‘Jesus fish’ was used as a secret symbol to mark Christian meeting places. On Maverick’s T-shirt, the interior of the Jesus fish is shaded in the colors of the rainbow. Rainbow colors are often used to denote identification with, and/or support for, the LGBT community.”

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