Marilyn Manson Causes Stir In Michigan Town

February 26, 1998 12:00 AM ET

If a group of parents have their way, Marilyn Manson fans in a suburb of Flint, Mich., may have to stop wearing black clothes to school.

Parents of kids who attend the Grand Blanc Middle School in Grand Blanc, Mich., a conservative Midwest town of approximately 8,000 people, sent a letter to the local school board requesting they ban a group of students from dressing like shock rocker Marilyn Manson. These parents claim the "gang" of Manson followers have been intimidating other students by cornering them at school and saying things like they want to drink their blood, or they want to sacrifice them.

Superintendent Dr. Gary P. Lipe said the school would only intervene if they had proof the group was in fact harassing other students. Lipe said, however, that if the students were simply wearing clothes depicting the man who has been dubbed the "AntiChrist Superstar" for his Devil worshipping antics and lyrics, that's their First Amendment right.

The kids wearing the Manson garb have been told they have the right to express themselves as long as it doesn't endanger the other students. "The parents [who wrote the letter] wanted to make sure their kids' rights were being protected and that the other kids [the Manson followers] were being responsible," Lipe said.

"It's been a week since we got the letter from the parents," Lipe said. "We've had no problems since then and it doesn't look like we will." Lipe said that no school officials had been approached with complaints, but if they had, action would've been taken.

Lipe spoke with one parent whose child dressed in all black like Manson. The father not only understood what the music represented, but also took his son to see Manson in concert. "The dad didn't care for all the profanity but he showed support for his kid." Some of the students also approached the school's officials to let them know they liked dressing in all black because it was a way to show their individuality.

"I heard an interview the other day with Marilyn Manson on public radio," Lipe said. "He talked about getting beat up when he was a kid because he dressed differently. There's definitely an element these kids bring on themselves, but that's the risk you take."

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