High court turns away challenge to Confederate flag ban

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Supreme Court this week refused to consider an appeal from a Tennessee high school student who had sought to overturn his school district’s dress-code policy barring the Confederate flag.

Lower courts had sided with the Anderson County School District, rejecting student Tom Defoe’s argument that he had a free-speech right to wear the racially divisive symbol to school. In November 2010, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Defoe v. Spiva that the school district could bar the Confederate flag because it could reasonably forecast that the symbol would be disruptive.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that the federal judge who first heard the case cited “a slew of incidents of racial unrest at Anderson County schools in opining that the Confederate flag ban was both legal and necessary.”

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