ERIC Number: EJ703962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-1
Reference Count: N/A
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.)
Descriptors: Civil Rights, Court Litigation, Freedom of Speech, Symbolic Language, School Policy, High School Students
Phi Delta Kappa International, Inc., 408 N. Union St., P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789. Web site: http://www.pdkintl.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment