Appeals Court to Weigh School's Ban on Campaign Shirt

Student says school district violated his right to free speech

A student who claims he was threatened with suspension for wearing a T-shirt supporting John Edwards' presidential campaign is asking a federal appeals court to bar a Texas school district from enforcing its dress code.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday from lawyers on both sides of the case that Paul "Pete" Palmer and his parents filed against the Waxahachie Independent School District.

Palmer claims the suburban Dallas school district censored his constitutionally protected political speech when it prohibited him from wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words, "John Edwards '08" to Waxahachie High School in September 2007.

The district said its dress code prohibits all "non-school messages" on clothing and isn't designed to restrict students' rights to freedom of expression.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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