Family Sues Over Detention

0_62_miller_shirt.jpg14 year-old Donald Miller, III received two days of detention for wearing a shirt the school felt inappropriate. He believes the school violated his right to free speech. The shirt was a gift from Miller’s uncle who is serving in Iraq. Miller and his parent’s believe the shirt is a sign of patriotism and is appropriate school attire. However administrators at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, PA disagree.

The school banned the shirt because of the gun pictured on the front and back of the shirt. In light of school shootings and school violence it is understandable that the school prohibits shirts picturing weapons or violence.

Front of Shirt

Back of Shirt

Schools should and do have the right to place limits upon student’s free speech. Miller’s case is not unique. He is not the first student to face consequences for violating a school’s dress code or to have limits placed upon on his exercise of free speech.

In a school setting it is often necessary to limit a student’s expression of free speech to protect others, prevent disorder or other problems. Teenagers often lack wisdom when speaking and need guidance over what is considered acceptable.

I understand and support Miller’s patriotism and pride in his uncle. However, weapons in any form do not belong in schools. Also, I believe that 2 days detention is a not an unreasonable consequence for violating a school dress code. In some school dress code violations result in immediate suspension and a failing grades for the day.

So what do you think? Has the school crossed the line? Or are Miller and his parents being unreasonable?

Source: Fox News


  1. He and his parents are being unreasonable, but of course if they were reasonable people this would never have happened at all. That shirt is completely inappropriate for school. It not only depicts a firearm, it promotes violence against other human beings.

    Of course, some people don’t think anything they do is wrong, and they are quick to sue. What’s their point, exactly? So, he got detention for a couple of days. Big deal, it could have been much worse in most schools.

    It’s not the end of the world, no matter how I look at it. He and his parents should have simply learned from it.

    Some people, though, think that they and their children are above the rules which all other students must follow. This family strikes me as that type, and as such they are doing nothing to promote their son’s education, or his good behavior. They are teaching him that if he doesn’t like what someone in authority does, sue them.

    This family is a good example of what’s wrong with this country today.

  2. In all of the schools I attended or taught in he would have had an immediate suspension for violation of dress code. That means that his grades for the day would be 0.

    I am sure that the Millers were given a code of conduct and/or a handbook that outlined what is considered acceptable. Further they most likely signed a form stating they read and understood it. It always amazed me how many parents failed to read the material and then somehow believed they were absolved from following the rules.

  3. This is vexatious litigation, in my opinion; there are far more important issues to bring to the courts – this is not one. One of the big lessons in life is to learn when and where it is appropriate to broadcast one’s allegiances and beliefs. Along with “freedom of speech” should be allied “duty to be discerning”. G

  4. I was always amazed at the parents who signed forms/class contracts without reading them. When something came up they seemed to believe that not reading it would absolve them from responsibility.

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