The lesbian teenager currently suing her Florida high school after she was suspended last year for participating in the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network's annual "Day of Silence" campaign is speaking out about how her school principal threatened her, then trampled all over her First Amendment rights.
Amber Hatcher joined forces with Lambda Legal, and on Tuesday filed suit against the DeSoto School District, alleging that the school principal and district infringed on Hatcher's freedom of speech when they forbade her from participating in the silent demonstration aimed at raising awareness of LGBT bullying. Despite numerous efforts to receive preliminary approval for the silent demonstration, Hatcher says principal Shannon Fusco repeatedly threatened the student with "Ramifications" if she observed the Day of Silence. When she arrived at school on April 20, 2012, wearing a shirt that read "DOS April 20, 2012: Shhh," and communicating by writing on a white board, Hatcher says she was suspended and send home for the day.
"It was more disappointment than anything," the 16-year-old tells Cape Coral, Florida's NBC affiliate, WBBH News. "It wasn't about anger or wanting to get back at them."
Watch Hatcher's interview with WBBH below.