'Let's Go Brandon' Sweatshirts Get Two Students in Trouble—but They’re Fighting Back

Let's Go Brandon sweatshirt. (Credit: Amazon)

In the Michigan Tri-County Area Schools district, you can wear your gay pride flag to class—just don’t show up in a Trump cape or a “Let’s Go, Brandon” sweatshirt. Two boys found that out the hard way when the assistant principal and a teacher at their school ordered them to take theirs off because they violated the dress code.


It reminds me of a similar story I wrote in November 2022 about Connecticut’s Trinity College:

Now the boys are suing for “viewpoint discrimination” with help from the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). Said foundation attorney Conor Fitzpatrick:

Criticism of the president is core political speech protected by the First Amendment.

Whether it’s a Biden sticker, “Let’s Go Brandon” sweatshirt, or gay pride T-shirt, schools can’t pick and choose which political beliefs students can express.

That about sums it up.

The “Brandon” expression went viral after an October 2021 Nascar race Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama won by Brandon Brown. As he’s being interviewed on camera, the crowd starts chanting, “F*** Joe Biden! F*** Joe Biden!” NBC reporter Kelli Stavast bizarrely claimed the fans were yelling, “Let’s go, Brandon,” but you can hear for yourself that they were doing no such thing:



The two students and FIRE argue that the school district has shown political favoritism in the past:

Even though the political slogan is widely used — multiple members of Congress used it during floor speeches — an assistant principal and a teacher ordered the boys to remove the sweatshirts. However, administrators allowed students to wear apparel with other political messages, including gay-pride-themed hoodies.

The incident is part of a pattern of political favoritism by the school district. When the school district relaxed the dress code for field day, a school administrator ordered a student to stop wearing a Trump flag as a cape, but permitted other students to wear gay pride flags in the same manner.


They also argue that the statement is not vulgar:

The school district is wrongly relying on a policy that prohibits “profane” clothing to censor this particular message, but FIRE’s lawsuit argues that ordering the students to remove the “Let’s Go Brandon” sweatshirts violates the First Amendment.

“The slogan exists as a way to express an anti-Biden message without using profanity,” explained Fitzpatrick. “A public school district cannot censor speech just because it might cause someone to think about a swear word.”

George Washington University law professor and frequent pundit Jonathan Turley opines that the case has chilling free speech implications and that it shows the continued decline of our education systems (emphasis mine):

What is so troubling is the message being taught here by the district. It is one of arbitrary enforcement and speech intolerance. It is precisely why we are seeing a generation of speech phobic students entering higher education. They have been taught since elementary school that speech is harmful and they do not have to tolerate the opposing views of others. My guess is that it is the teachers, not the students, who are most offended by anti-Biden sentiments.

This is an important free speech case for that reason and FIRE is to be commended for taking up the cause for these middle school students. This was once the work of the ACLU, which has largely abandoned its signature commitment to free speech. FIRE is now filling that void and this is a great case to reinforce free speech rights in our schools.


Most kids would just walk away from a situation like this, but not these two—they’re fighting back. America needs more students like these.

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Speaking of Brandon:

Biden’s Cringey ‘Dark Brandon’ Moment at WHCD, as Comedian Drops Him, Media on Classified Docs

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