Court Ok’s Removing Flag At School To Avoid “Offending” Anyone
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that school officials in northern California did not violate students’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to remove clothing displaying the U.S. flag on Cinco de Mayo, for fear it would provoke a violent reaction from Hispanic classmates.
“School officials anticipated violence or substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and their response was tailored to the circumstances,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in the opinion for the three-judge Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel.
“As a consequence, we conclude that school officials did not violate the students’ rights to freedom of expression, due process, or equal protection.”
The court emphasized that “[school officials] did not punish the students” for wearing the flag, but were concerned that it would provoke a violent reaction.
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