Citizens Against Hate

…seeking a kinder and gentler world

Support For Jena 6 Taboo

Posted by nicolen on October 10, 2007

Teenager Told To Remove Jena 6 T-Shirt

Sep 20, 2007 08:33 PM CDT

Norma Super
Norma Super
James Evans
James Evans

Teenager Told To Remove Jena 6 T-Shirt

Jena 6 Rally Photos

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – School officials forced a Smyrna teenager to change her T-shirt that advocated support for six black teenagers in Louisiana.

The teenagers were charged with attempted murder after they fought a white classmate, an incident amidst escalating racial tensions at their high school.

To support their cause and a nation rally held in their small Louisiana town, individuals across the country wore black Thursday.

Dani Super, a Smyrna High School sophomore, wore a T-shirt supporting the teenagers at school.

“I just want to support these boys,” Dani said.

She said she wasn’t trying to cause any trouble.

“I just wanted to help,” she said.

Dani and her mother were surprised when school officials asked her to change the shirt.

“What? I had no idea, why would you not allow this shirt in here,” Norma Super said. “We’re well aware of dress codes there’s no drugs, there’s no profanity, it’s certainly not sexual and it’s not gang related.”

But according to the school, it’s disruptive. They said Thursday’s march in Jena sparked racial tension with Smyrna students and Dani’s shirt could make things worse.

“We thought it was an appropriate action to take and we support him in that,” said James Evans, Rutherford County Schools spokesman.

Under the rules of the Rutherford County Board of Education the school principal decides when a student is violating the dress code.

“They were not trying to shut down her First Amendment rights,” Evans said. “They were just trying to keep the school safe. To minimize any kind of disruption they might have.”

Only Dani’s mother sees it another way.

“We need to stand together,” Norma Super said. “We need to teach our young people to stand together, not to separate once again. This is an opportunity to teach not to punish.”

Dani changed into a gym shirt and finished the rest of the school day. She said she had the shirt on because she wore it at a Jena 6 march in downtown Nashville Thursday morning.

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