Via Washington Examiner:
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that school officials in northern California did not violate students’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to remove clothing displaying the U.S. flag on Cinco de Mayo, for fear it would provoke a violent reaction from Hispanic classmates.
“School officials anticipated violence or substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and their response was tailored to the circumstances,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in the opinion for the three-judge Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel. “As a consequence, we conclude that school officials did not violate the students’ rights to freedom of expression, due process, or equal protection.” [...]
“School officials have greater constitutional latitude to suppress student speech than to punish it,” McKeown wrote, adding that “officials did not enforce a blanket ban on American flag apparel, but instead allowed two students to return to class when it became clear that their shirts were unlikely to make them targets of violence. The school distinguished among the students based on the perceived threat level, and did not embargo all flag-related clothing.”
The school has a history of racial tension, which the court took into account.