Discipline

'Twilight' town's teens penalized for punky protest

Nov. 15, 2010 at 10:22 AM ET

AP /

Somewhere, Sid Vicious is snickering. Who'd have thought that almost three and a half decades since Britain's preeminent punk rock band, The Sex Pistols, first reared their spiky scalps and coughed up a viscous gob of phlegm at the world, they could still spark any semblance of controversy? Well, for a group of students in the small town of Forks, Wash. (an infamous burg already beset by hordes of obsessed teen vampire devotees for being the epicenter of all things “Twilight”), the very name “Sex Pistols” has proved to still pack the power to offend.

After a student was instructed to remove a Sex Pistols T-shirt by a Forks High School official, former student body president Devon Chastain donned the offending garment herself and refused to take it off. As a result, she was sent home. The incident sparked a punky domino effect of sorts, as nine other students then staged a protest in front of the school in support of their suspended classmate, distributing more T-shirts bearing the Sex Pistols’ fabled ransom-note logo. In turn, these students were also suspended.

In their defense, Forks High School officials cite that the student handbook expressly prohibits wearing clothing bearing sexual connotations. One might have imagined that the prurient interpretation of the band’s moniker would have been somewhat defanged in the past three decades of being emblazoned on T-shirts available at shopping malls around the world (also available in toddler sizes). Trainspotting apologists could also point out that late Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren coined the band’s name to make them sound like “sexy young assassins,” and not necessarily as a lascivious innuendo, but that’s all rather academic.

Parents, how would you feel if your child was sent home from school for wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt? Are the folks in Forks maybe just a bit too sensitive in the wake of “Twilight” hysteria? Are these suspensions justifiable discipline or much ado about nothing? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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