Family Gets Lawyer Over Wrestling Shirts

By
WOUB Contributing Writer

Dateline
Updated Sat, Apr 19, 2014 1:12 pm

One family is taking their match over wrestling tee shirts to a local lawyer.

Attorney Bill Merriman says he is representing one of Parkersburg South's wrestlers and his parents.

He says the family feels their right to freedom of expression is being taken away from them.

School officials told wrestlers they couldn't wear shirts with a Bible verse on the back after the Wisconsin-based "Freedom From Religion Foundation" complained about them.

Merriman says the shirts were bought by the wrestlers' parents and the wrestlers are not required to wear them.

And he says the shirts are nothing new.

The team has been wearing shirts with the same Bible verse on the back since the 1990s.

"The process is a person can wear and express themselves in any manner and the speech is protected as long as it isn't a disruption to the educational process," says Merriman.

"If it becomes disruptive to the educational process then that freedom of speech and expression is prohibited and our position is these individual student athletes have the right to express themselves and that this is not a disruptive position to the educational process."

Merriman says he is investigating as well as Wood County Schools' legal team to determine the next steps.

This article contributed by WTAP Television in Parkersburg

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