In May 2010, four students at Live Oak High School in the San Francisco area were sent home for wearing American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo.
The administration said the T-shirts were “incendiary.”
The students went on FOX News to talk about the controversy.
On Thursday a federal court said the school officials made the right decision for disciplining the patriotic students.
FOX News reported:
A federal court ruled Thursday that a northern California high school did not violate the constitutional rights of its students when school officials made them turn their American flag T-shirts inside out on Cinco de Mayo or be sent home due to fears of racial violence.
The three-judge panel unanimously decided the officials’ need to protect the safety of their students outweighed the students’ freedom of expression rights.
Administrators at Live Oak High School, in the San Jose suburb of Morgan Hill, feared the American-flag shirts would enflame Latino students celebrating the Mexican holiday, and ordered the students to either turn the shirts inside out or go home for the day.
The school had a history of problems between white and Latino students on that day, and also had a documented history of violence between gang members and between racial groups. The court said these past problems gave school officials sufficient and justifiable reasons for their actions and that schools have wide latitude in curbing certain civil rights to ensure campus safety.
“Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the panel. The past events “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real,” she wrote.