DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) # School officials ordered a 16-year-old student to either take off a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “International Terrorist” and a picture of President Bush and or go home, saying they worried it would inflame passions at the school where a majority of students are Arab-American.
The student, Bretton Barber, chose to go home. He said he wore the shirt Monday to express his anti-war position and for a class assignment in which he wrote a compare-contrast essay on Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Schools spokesman Dave Mustonen said students have the right to freedom of expression, but educators are sensitive to tensions caused by the conflict with Iraq.
“It was felt that emotions are running very high,” Mustonen said.
Dearborn is the center of an Arab-American community of about 300,000 in southeastern Michigan. About 55 percent of the district’s 17,600 students are Arab-American.