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ERIC Number: EJ703962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-1
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Courtside: Unflagging Efforts
Zirkel, Perry A.
Phi Delta Kappan, v85 n10 p800 Jun 2004
In late October 2000, Franklin Scott and Nicholas Thomas, 11th-graders at a high school in Alachua County, Florida, each displayed a Confederate flag on campus. Scott did so on his pickup truck, and Thomas did so on his T-shirt. The principal, Lamar Simmons, had given each of them a warning when they had engaged in such conduct earlier in the month. This time, he suspended them for two days each. His school-based unwritten ban also applied to clothing with messages related to drugs/alcohol, sexuality, profanity, and other potentially violence- provoking racial or religious content. The school had previously experienced a fight on a school bus that resulted in racial unrest on campus and subsequent displays of Confederate flags. On 27 March 2001, Scott and Thomas, via their parents, filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court, claiming that Simmons' action violated their First Amendment right to symbolic speech. On 7 August 2002, the federal district court granted summary judgment for the defendant school authorities. On 6 September 2002, the students appealed. The court decision is discussed in this article. (Contains 16 notes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment