Students Sent Home for Wearing "Islam is of the Devil" t-shirts to school
In Gainesville, Florida.
More children from the Dove World Outreach Center arrived Tuesday at area public schools with shirts bearing the message "Islam is of the Devil" and were sent home for violation of the school district's dress code when they declined to change clothes or cover the anti-Muslim statement on their clothing.chool district staff attorney Tom Wittmer said the shirts violated a district ban on clothing that may "disrupt the learning process" or cause other students to be "offended or distracted."
"Students have a right of free speech, and we have allowed students to come to school wearing clothes with messages," Wittmer said. "But this message is a divisive message that is likely to offend students. Principals, I feel reasonably, have deemed that a violation of the dress code."
On their front, the T-shirts had a verse from the Gospel of John: "Jesus answered I am the way and the truth and the life; no one goes to the Father except through me," and this statement, "I stand in trust with Dove Outreach Center." The message "Islam is of the Devil" is on the back of the shirt.
Dove Senior Pastor Terry Jones said no local company "had the guts" to print the shirts. Dove member Wayne Sapp said he then ordered the shirts over the Internet from a company that allows individuals to design their own shirts. His daughter, Faith Sapp , 10, was the Talbot Elementary student sent home Monday. She said she was allowed to wear the shirt to school on Tuesday -- with the Gospel message on the front visible but the anti-Islam message on the back covered.
Wayne Sapp's daughter, Emily Sapp, 15, was the student sent home from Gainesville High on Tuesday. Both Faith and Emily Sapp said it was their decision, not that of their parents, to wear the shirts to school in order to promote their Christian beliefs. Emily Sapp said the "Islam is of the Devil" statement was aimed at the religion's beliefs, not its members.
"The people are fine," she said. "The people are people. They can be saved like anyone else."