Sophie Thomas Updates Us On Her “Feminist” T-Shirt Campaign; School Superintendent Emerges As The Real “Offensive” One

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Last week, Women You Should Know broke the news of Sophie Thomas, the 13-year-old eighth grader from Ohio, who had her “feminist” t-shirt blacked out in her class photo by her middle school principal for being “offensive.”

Since, Sophie’s story has been shared and covered by countless other media outlets and news sites, far and wide. Just yesterday, she even appeared on national television. What’s more, a multitude of strangers from all over the world have reached out to show her their support on social media.

We’ve been in direct contact with Sophie and her mom Christine, receiving regular updates, as the story has continued to unfold and evolve. Last night, Sophie gave us the latest on the situation at school and her campaign…


As part of her effort to spread her story and message, Sophie and her friends launched the #ideservefreedomofexpression campaign, which encouraged people to wear feminist t-shirts and share photos on social media this past Friday. Sophie was very excited about the response, and the overwhelming support she received. She told WYSK…

Friday went amazing! I can’t believe how many people wore shirts! People all over the world have supported me. People like NBC’s Today show have talked to me and all because your article about me spread like wildfire. I love all of you with all of my heart!

When this story initially blew up, Mrs. Young, Sophie’s school principal, asked what she wanted to have happen. Sophie’s demands were fitting, reasonable and quite simple… she wanted someone to come to the school who could speak intelligently to the students about feminism – what it is, and what it isn’t. From what Sophie shared with WYSK, it looks like that’s on its way to becoming a reality…

My principal and I are on good terms. In fact, we are working on educating everyone on feminism!

Sadly, not all of the important players have been supportive. In fact, one person, in particular, has been downright duplicitous, not to mention outstandingly unprofessional. Sophie explained to WYSK…

Everything has been great, except one thing… my superintendent, Ralph Shell, has been lying to anyone who calls him about this. He says that it was a ‘joke’ and that we (the students), were ‘in on it.’ He has said that both of my parents came in and agreed to have the word taken off because I looked ‘unflattering.’

Two things: 1. My father lives in Tennessee, so he didn’t agree to anything. 2. Mr. Shell actually told many news sources that I looked unflattering. A grown man, over the age of 60, told people it was an awful picture of me.

We continue to be amazed, impressed and inspired by this young woman and how brilliantly she handles herself. Sophie continued…

On the bright side, I was on The View today! Whoopi Goldberg knows who I am! (I have seen Sister Act an unhealthy amount of times) and I just can’t believe that this is all really happening. If I have educated only one person on the topic, then I’m happy. Also, I couldn’t have done it without my mom and my best friend, Jaide. They have both been so supportive.

There are millions of words and I can’t find a single one to express how thankful I am. Especially for you guys! You were one of the first to get my story out there and I can’t thank you enough.

Thankful to have you amazing feminists by my side.

And this group of “amazing feminists” is thankful for you Sophie! Thank you for standing up for what you believe in, for holding your ground, and for using your voice. Through your actions, you have shown the world that it is possible to affect change and make a difference, no matter your age.


#ideservefreedomofexpression campaign

Instagram highlights:

 

When squad is all feminist #feministproblems#ideservefreedomofexpression A photo posted by Ellary (@e.llary) on

 

 

Twitter highlights:

  • ERB

    Congratulations Sophie and WYSK!

  • Claire Voyant

    Sophie is smart, honest, and articulate. Which is a lot to be at age 13, especially under so much media attention and pressure. She has a better understanding of feminism as an 8th grader than I had at age 20, and it makes me happy to see people understanding gender issues at younger ages. I’m really impressed by her maturity and patience, and I hope good things happen in her life.

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