Conservative high school students suspended for wearing offensive t-shirts in Sacramento, Calif., can wear them if the word "sodomy' is covered by duct tape.

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The uproar began last week on the national Day of Silence, when supporters of gays and lesbians gave up small talk as a show of solidarity.

Several conservative students responded by wearing t-shirts with religious quotations, including the phrase "Sodomy is sin," the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday. The students were suspended for what school officials said was offensive wording, and several protests were staged.

On Monday, Phillip Goudeaux, a minister, offered the compromise of covering the offending word with duct tape. He said he understood school officials' unease.

"We didn't have to use such strong language to get our point across," Goudeaux said.

School officials agreed, but Jade Baranski, a Sacramento activist who works with gay youth, told the Bee it was a shallow settlement.

"All the kids know what the shirt says," Baranski said.