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ACLU: Zach Guiles

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Seventh-grader Zach Guiles of Williamstown, VT, was suspended in 2003 from his local middle school for wearing a T-shirt that called President George W. Bush a “Chicken-Hawk-in-Chief” who was engaged in a “World Domination Tour”. The school principal said the shirt wasn’t allowed because it had pictures of a martini glass, a marijuana cigarette, and cocaine, and such images promoted drug and alcohol use. Zach said the images were protected political speech—he had a right to make a statement about the president’s alleged former substance abuse problems as well as the president’s foreign policies. He went to the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont for help. Zach looks back on what it’s like for a 13-year-old to fight for his rights.