It's not often the Second Amendment scores a victory in the state of New York, but they got one on Tuesday when the Grand Island School district decided to reverse its decision to suspend a student for wearing a T-shirt with the NRA logo.
Shane Kinney, a sophomore at Grand Island High School, was ordered to report to the principal's office last month when a teacher spotted him wearing the "controversial" piece of clothing.
"They've yelled at me for wearing it before because it has a gun on it and I had to duct tape it," says Kinney. Administrators suggested he turn the shirt inside out or find another shirt. He refused, saying there was nothing wrong with it, adding the NRA has done great things for the country.
Parents and gun rights advocates protested the school's intolerant move, and now it seems their efforts have paid off - the district is retracting the suspension. Activist Rus Thompson, who led protests against the school district, posted some insight about the administration's change of heart on his Facebook page after attending Tuesday's board of education meeting:
Victory on Grand Island! Mission accomplished! The Superintendent read a great statement, she admitted they were wrong in the suspension. The suspension has been expunged from Shane's school records. They returned his pocket tool and have stopped the 30 year practice of turning T-shirts inside out. She respects the 2nd Amendment, the 1st Amendment, and is the daughter of a veteran, her daughter shoots on a team. I started the applause after she was finished.
I wish I was in that meeting so I could clap along with him. Good for Grand Island for recognizing that Kinney's T-shirt was harmless and for ultimately ruling in free speech's favor.
It's a small victory in a state that has introduced some of the most anti-gun legislation in the country, but it's a victory nonetheless.