Last week, high school student Briana Popour was suspended because she wore a shirt that said “Nobody knows I’m a lesbian.” The South Carolina native who attends Chesnee High School was taken out of her classroom and told by an administrator “Change the shirt or go home.” Believe it or not, the openly gay Popour said she already previously worn the shirt at school, but no one had ever seen it as an issue until now.
Popour said she never knew the shirt was such a problem. She told the administrator she never saw anything that was against students wearing clothing related to sexual orientation in the school’s handbook, but she claims he responded with, “Well, not everything is in the handbook.”
WSPA news station reached out to the school district to get to bottom of why Briana was really suspended, and the district sent out an email explaining that they felt Briana’s shirt was both “offensive and distracting” and sent link to the school’s dress code policy, which states, “Clothing deemed distracting, revealing, overly suggestive or otherwise disruptive will not be permitted.”
Briana’s mother, Barbara Popour, felt that this was personal attack on her daughter’s sexual orientation and believes that the administrator “does not like people in his school wearing anything that says anything about lesbians, gays, or bisexuals.” Barbara added,
There’s other stuff that supposedly could be against religion, against anything else, but that wasn’t listed in his comment.
Overall, Briana feels that the shirt is a part of who she is and when people try and control the way that she expresses who she truly is, it makes the members of the LGBT youth fearful to show their true identities in school. Popour said,
Isn’t that what school is supposed to teach you? To be happy with who you are? Maybe people will be more comfortable showing who they are because you should be able to wear what you want to wear.