A federal court ruled that two Wisconsin public schools that banned students from wearing clothing with depictions of firearms did not violate students' First Amendment rights. The decision to side with the school came as an unpleasant surprise to free speech scholars who thought the schools’ dress code policies were overly restrictive.
The lawsuit argues that the students’ shirts do not advocate for violent or illegal use of firearms, but are meant to express support for “the value to society of personal possession of arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”
February 24, 2019 marks 50 years since the Supreme Court made its landmark ruling in Tinker vs. Des Moines that protected the First Amendment rights of students in public schools.
The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment experts, Gene Policinski and Lata Nott, originally published this commentary on the Newseum blog, and have given First Amendment Watch permission to reprint. ____________________________________________________________________________ […]