Court Upholds Texas School's Dress Code

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According to Courthouse News, Texas school district's dress code banning shirts with words on them doesn't violate students' free-speech rights, the 5th Circuit ruled.

Paul Palmer, then a sophomore at Waxahachie High in the Waxahachie Independent School District, wore a shirt to school in September 2007 with the words "San Diego" written on it. His assistant principal told him the shirt violated the district's dress code.

Palmer called his parents, who then brought him a "John Edwards for President '08" T-shirt instead. That shirt wasn't allowed, either.

Palmer sued in April 2008, claiming the dress code violated his First Amendment right to free speech. But because the school district had adopted a new dress code for the upcoming year four days before the hearing, the court dismissed Palmer's motion without prejudice.

In siding with the school district, the New Orleans-based appeals court called Palmer's argument "flawed, because it fails to include another type of student speech restriction that schools can institute: content-neutral regulations."

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