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A Tennessee school district’s prohibition of any display of a Confederate flag by students has passed muster with a federal appeals court. It was the latest in a long line of rulings that have backed school administrators seeking to prevent racial conflict over the symbol.
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled unanimously last month in favor of the Anderson County school system and its ban against students’ display of the Confederate battle flag or other such representations. The court said the district has never completely escaped racial tensions since its schools were desegregated in 1956.
Uncontested evidence in this case clearly indicates racial violence, threats, and tension in Anderson County schools, U.S. Circuit Judge Eric L. Clay said in Defoe v. Spiva. The appeals court upheld summary judgment for the school district in a free-speech challenge brought by a student and his father.
A version of this article appeared in the December 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as Court Rules in Favor of Ban On Confederate Flag Display