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Hostility Not Expression: Case Study

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Hostility not Expression

James Peter recently was suspended for refusing to remove a Confederate flag belt buckle to school. The student had refused to remove the belt after the principle told him he needed to remove it because it violated the school policy. The policy was developed a few years back because of racial tension in the district. The student is suing under the first amendment freedom of speech clause with emphasis that the buckle was an expression of his southern heritage and interest in the war and not slavery. According to the fourteenth amendment equal protection clause, case law, and the Turner test for the first amendment the school was well within its rains of authority to ban the flag. Taking a closer look at the two major
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Instead, the shirt had the words "Dixie Classic" referencing back to the students southern pride (D.W.A, 2009, p.). Yet, the court did not accepted that this was grounds to interpret the Confederate flag as free from racial interpretations. As the court upheld, the student does not need to be trying to convey a racial message for such a disruptive message to occur (D.W.A, 2009). In Peter’s case, his intentions to support his Southern Heritage were even less obvious as his buckle only depicted a Confederate flag. Therefore, the school was in the right assuming such a symbol could indeed cause racial tensions to flare. Peter’s personal interaction of his political speech does not need to be taken into consideration. Here case law supports the school’s preemptive measures because the flag could be interpreted in a racial way that can cause a foreseeable issue. Adding to this, the second case, Scott v. School Board (2003), argued in the 11th circuit court that one cannot ban political speech if there is no prior recording of significant issues with this speech. However, it was found that even a single instance of racial problems or significant racial tension is grounds to claim a reasonable forecast of problems. Again, the ruling is relevant to the 7th circuit court because the arguments still bring up valid points that could…show more content…
It is common knowledge that not everyone interprets everything in the same way. Just because a student wants to support their Southern heritage does not mean other students cannot use the same image to bully other students. We would not allow a student to wear a swastika to show their German heritage because it is insensitive the Jewish religion; we should not allow people to wear the Confederate flag simply because it is a Southern heritage. I would be far too likely that others would interpret it by its more familiar connotation with racism and slavers. By allowing such a racially charged symbol as the Confederate flag, schools are upholding the discriminatory aspect of the symbol. The same as any charged symbol it is more likely for people to see and use it for its known negative connotation then the very specific connotation an individual gave
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