There was probably a time when we would have been shocked to learn that a senior at a high school with no dress code needed to go to court to gain permission to wear a shirt to class which depicted nothing pornographic and had no words which can’t be said during prime-time network television programs. Those days are behind us, however, and that’s what happened in Oregon this year. Addison Barnes wore a shirt to Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon which displayed the words, “Border Wall Construction Co.” The first time he wore it he was ordered to cover it up with a sweatshirt. The second time he was suspended.
Barnes went to court and has now secured a federal court order allowing him to wear the banned shirt for the rest of the year. (Washington Times)
A pro-Trump student in Oregon will be able to wear his “Border Wall Construction Co” for the rest of the year, thanks to a federal judge’s temporary restraining order.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman sided with 18-year-old Addison Barnes this week in a lawsuit filed against Hillsboro School District. The young man sought legal recourse on First Amendment grounds after Liberty High School banned his outfit.
Mr. Barnes was accused of creating a “hostile learning environment” in January despite the fact that his teacher’s room included a sign that read: “Sanctuary City, Welcome Home.”
“There’s not enough to go on here to show that sort of legitimate concern justifying censorship of this core political speech,” Judge Mosman ruled, The Oregonian reported Tuesday.
Of course, the celebration will be relatively short lived. The order came through when the school year was nearly over. (Classes end on Wednesday of this week.) Even if he tosses it straight into the laundry basket he’ll only be able to wear it a couple of times before he graduates and moves on. But on the plus side, if any of the younger students following him want to wear a shirt with some protected political speech on it they should be able to without going through all of this rigamarole.
Having a border wall construction shirt is particularly timely, also. Barnes’ victory came just at the same time that construction began on the San Diego section of the wall. (Fox News)
Construction work on a stretch of the U.S. border kicked off on Friday in San Diego, California, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.
Roughly 14 miles of the eight-to-10 foot high barrier made from scrap metal will be replaced with a bollard-style wall more than twice as tall, a news release from the CBP said. The new wall will also include an anti-climbing plate, according to the agency.
“The San Diego Sector wall construction is one of Border Patrol’s top priority projects,” the news release said.
It’s also worth noting, as mentioned in the linked article above, that the classroom where Barnes was told to cover up his shirt had a sign on the wall proclaiming “Sanctuary City, Welcome Home.” One assumes that if Barnes or one of his other classmates had shown up in a shirt suggesting everyone spread the word before ICE arrives in the community they would not have been suspended.
This wasn’t a court case challenging the real meaning of free speech to begin with. It was political bias, plain and simple. When schools or any other institutions are allowed to declare something “offensive” based on a political ideology they disagree with, free speech is basically over.