Right to Wear T-Shirts That Depict or Mention Guns | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Right to Wear T-Shirts That Depict or Mention Guns

Schoenecker was told that he could not wear T-shirts that either depict weapons or even mention the word "gun." The school dress code bans

Clothing or articles displaying obscenities, suggestive slogans and/or images, nudity, gangs, crime, violence, occult worship, slanderous or harassing material, encouragement of disruptive behavior, weapons, beer/alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drug designs are prohibited.

Likely unconstitutional, said U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, in Schoenecker v. Koopman, decided Friday, granting a preliminary injunction blocking the school from enforcing the rule against Schoenecker. The T-shirts contain presumptively protected speech, the judge held, notwithstanding the school's argument that the first two shirts "do not convey specific, unambiguous messages." Because the images on the shirts "are pure speech, in that they contain images and words that convey a message," they are presumptively covered by the First Amendment even if they are "ambiguous and open to interpretation," and lack "a narrow, succinctly articulable message."

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