Posted on March 8, 2006

Students Sue Over Confederate Image Ban

Duncan Mansfield, AP, March 3, 2006

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Three students and their parents sued their school district in federal court, claiming their free-speech rights are being denied by a ban on the Confederate battle flag at the students’ high school.

The William Blount High School students, Derek Barr, Chris Nicole White and Roger Craig White, said they were threatened with suspension if they refused to cover or turn inside out shirts bearing the Confederate emblem.

The students complied but they and their parents sued, seeking a preliminary injunction to lift the ban.

“Out of all the T-shirts that are worn to school every day, a student cannot express pride in his Southern heritage at William Blount High School,” said attorney Kirk Lyons of the Southern Legal Resource Center, a North Carolina organization that supports the lawsuit.

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The lawsuit claims other students have worn clothing depicting “foreign national flags, Malcolm X symbols and political slogans” without repercussions.

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