A kid walked into school wearing an anti-Bush shirt with images of cocaine and a martini. School officials said it violated the dress code and suspended him. The kid’s family sued, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court sided with the kid:
Putting its recent ruling on student speech into practice, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected a school district’s appeal of a ruling that it violated a student’s rights by censoring his anti-Bush T-shirt.
A seventh-grader from Vermont was suspended for wearing a shirt that bore images of cocaine and a martini glass–but also had messages calling President Bush a lying drunk driver who abused cocaine and marijuana, and the “chicken-hawk-in-chief” who was engaged in a “world domination tour.”
After his suspension, Zachary Guiles returned to school with duct tape covering the offending images.
Williamstown Middle School Principal Kathleen Morris-Kortz said the images violated the school dress code, which prohibits clothing that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol.
An appeals court said the school had no right to censor any part of the shirt.
On Monday, the court said schools could regulate student expression if it advocated illegal drug use. Justice Samuel Alito cautioned that schools could not censor political speech.