« Roundup: Violent Essay, Gay Student's Killing, and Confederate Flag Mistrial | Main | Pa. Reporting Requirements for Home-Schoolers Upheld »

School's Ban on Confederate Flag Upheld

| 9 Comments

A federal appeals court today upheld a prohibition on displaying the Confederate flag in a Tennessee high school that had experienced racial tensions.

"The facts in this case ... indicate that school officials could reasonably forecast that permitting students to wear clothing depicting the Confederate flag would cause disruptions to the school environment,'' said the unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati.

The decision in Barr v. LaFon upholds summary judgment in favor of the Blount County, Tenn., school district and administrators in a challenge to the prohibition by students "who would like to express their Southern heritage by wearing clothing depicting the Confederate flag at school."

The appeals court pointed to facts in the record about several racial incidents at William Blount High School, including an alleged physical altercation between black and white students at a basketball game in 2005, and several incidents of racist graffiti found in a boys' restroom, including one depicting a noose.

Lawyers for the students who challenged the district argued there was no evidence that Confederate flag symbols had caused disruptions at the school.

But the court said the racist graffiti "exemplifies how school officials reasonably concluded that the connection between the symbolism of the Confederate flag and racial tensions at the school meant that the Confederate flag would likely have a disruptive effect on the school."

This case on Confederate flags in the schools is not the same as one from another Tennessee school district that ended up in a mistrial last week because a federal district court jury could not reach a verdict. I briefly blogged on that case here and here.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports on the decision here.

9 Comments

We should have the right to free speech i am sick and tired of people trying to take away my rights as an American to wear a rebel flag. IT IS HERITAGE NOT HATE. and anybody who says otherwise can piss off

We should have the right to free speech i am sick and tired of people trying to take away my rights as an American to wear a rebel flag. IT IS HERITAGE NOT HATE. and anybody who says otherwise can piss off

As a former school principal whose ancestors fought and died for the Union, I'm discouraged that schools take the position that chills freedom of speech on the part of students. The Confederate Flag can be innocuously viewed as a small image on some shirts and yet it is still 'banned'. On the other hand, Malcolm "X" hats, popularlized by Spike Lee and others, may be openly worn and often 'acclaimed'. Let's err on the side of constitutional rights and punish the agressors and transgressors of violence, not those who wish to honor their ancestors.

Maybe the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage. Guess what else it is... It is a symbol of oppression and slavery, and if you cannot admit that you can piss off. How could it not be? I'm not saying that heritage is all about oppression and slavery but you are living in lala land if you think we can disregard what the flag stood for and what it means to many people. Ok, so now the flag stands for two things we need to make a decision. Should we use it in the name of heritage knowing what it symbolizes to many people (oppression and slavery)? Sounds like a decision for a judge....Free speech in schools...give me a break. Do we allow KKK shirts? The KKK have adopted the confederate flag. I'd like to know what that means to you (not your fault I'm guessing). Maybe the KKK are part of heritage too...this argument is a slippery slope. I understand that it is important to be proud but if you deny to yourself what else it means you come across ignorant. I will take back what I say when people who suffered the oppression come out in support of the heritage argument. Blam

Why is freedom of speach overcome by political correctness? It always backfires, when you curtail peoples freedom you only make them angry. Next thing they will ban the cross (some schools already have by the way).

Yea the confederate flag is a touchy issue when it comes to displaying your culture as you should be allowed to. Freedom of speach, freedom of religion. I believe that still exists today, so why is the white heritage so controversal? If a group of people no matter how big the size why should we be scalded for believing in what we do? Why does it matter how other people feel about it? If it's that hard to look at then look the other way is how I see it. Because you never hear anything as far as racial complains from schools say call themselves the panthers do you? Of course not, but notice how many eyebrows are raised when they hear of a school being called rebels. It is obsurd at how flip flopped that is and everyone seems to want to ignore it.

Please be advised that it is unfortunate that certain "hate groups" may have "adopted" this flag; because it should be universally recognized first and foremost as a symbol of the philosophical belief in the sovereignty of States to govern themselves (States Rights), with a common "Union" of these states, and a very limited Federal Government as intended by the framers of our Nation (first in the "Articles of Confederation" and later our "U.S. Constitution" as we know it today). The fact that there is not the same "outrage" and controversy over the U.S. flag we see everywhere today is hypocritical, as it too has flown over slave ships.

ANDA CHICOS COMO VAN A DECIR QUE ESTO ES APRECIABLE EN LAS CUELAS??? YO RESPETO MUCHO LAS OPINIONES DE LOS DE MAS A SI COMO SUS CREENCIAS Y SUS ORIGENES. PERO EL 1mer ADMENTMENT PROTEGE EL fredom of spech, SIEMPRE Y CUNADO NO CONTRADIGA O' INTERFIERA CON LOS DERECHOS DE OTROS . THEREFORE LO UNICO QUE ME QUEDA CON DECIR ES QUE LA CONFEDERATE FLAG ES UN SIMBOLO DE RACISMO Y NO DEBERIA DE SER APROPIADO DE USAR EN UNA ESCUELA. ALFIN Y ALCABO LA ESCUELA ES UN LUGAR DE APRENDISAGE NO UN DESFILE DE MODAS.



QUE VIVA COLIMA ,MEXICO!!! LOL


Wow i can understand how ppl can say thet they wear the confed flag for heritage but how inconsiderate and rude are u 2 wear it knowing that it will offend ppl whos ancestors where brought to slavery under that flag wat if we all walked around with a big red x over the image of a cracker then we all would b considered racist but it is perfectly okay to wera the confed flag???? some of u think that malcom x shirts should be banned but how really do they offend anyone he was a man who believed in fair rights for all races i am a half white half black individual so i can understand a lil of both sides but the matter of the fact is it should not be allowed in school if u want to were it wear it outside bcuz it is an will always b offensive!!!!!

Comments are now closed for this post.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments