Generally speaking, it’s not terribly controversial to say that school authorities have something to say about what their students wear. When the authorities forbid wearing American flag apparel, controversy begins. And when the reason is because racist thugs are threatening to assault the people who wear American flag clothing, the situation becomes absolutely appalling.
Check it out:
I can’t think of any way to make the decision described by lawyer and blogger Eugene Volokh sound less awful:
Thursday’s Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist. (9th Cir. Feb. 27, 2014) upholds a California high school’s decision to forbid students from wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. (See here and here for more on this case.)
The court points out that the rights of students in public high schools are limited — under the Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Comm. School Dist.(1969), student speech could be restricted if “school authorities [can reasonably] forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities” stemming from the speech. And on the facts of this case, the court concludes, there was reason to think that the wearing of the T-shirts would lead to disruption. There had been threats of racial violence aimed at students who wore such shirts the year before…