School nixes safe-sex shirt
When Jibri Knight, 17, designed a t-shirt for
Tallahassee, Florida's Lincoln High School seniors featuring a green
condom package and "99 percent effective, there's nothing like a
good graduation cap," school officials balked. "The shirt is
sexually suggestive and does not follow our dress code," said
assistant principal Randy Pridgeon. POZ asked Knight for his
What did the administration do?
I was pulled out of class. I told them, "If I'm promoting sex, at
least I'm promoting safe sex." They didn't think it made a
difference -- I was suspended for two days. The next day, students
gathered at Tom Brown Park, formed a line of 30 or 40 cars and drove
to campus in a caravan. I had to stop when we reached school
property because I wasn't allowed on. Teachers were grabbing
students, and those who didn't take off their t-shirts were given
in-school detentions or sent home for the day. About 70 other
students protested near the auditorium, and that night a bunch of
students wore the shirts to the football game.
What was behind the tee's design?
At first we just made the shirts for fun. But there are pregnant
girls walking around the halls, and we know people who have STDs. It
became important that we were promoting safe sex and taking care of
our classmates. They're not so worried about AIDS, or they figure
they're too good to get an STD. People in town have been more
supportive than the school administration. Parents have come up to
me to say thanks. They felt it was a good measure. They want their
kids to have safer sex.