Appeals court upholds ban in T-shirt case

August 13, 2009 12:35:05 PM PDT
A federal appeals court has upheld a Texas school district dress code that banned a student's T-shirt supporting John Edwards' presidential campaign. Waxahachie High School and school district officials barred 15-year-old sophomore Paul "Pete" Palmer from wearing the shirts to school in September 2007. He sued, alleging that school and district officials infringed on his free-speech rights.

A federal judge in Dallas denied Palmer a court order to allow him to wear shirts displaying political messages to school. In a 15-page opinion filed Thursday in New Orleans, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concurred.

The three-judge panel says the dress code is "content-neutral" and intended to avert distractions from education. Since dress outside school and message buttons are allowed, the judges ruled that civil rights aren't violated.

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