Attorney: A lost opportunity to discuss hats and hate

Monday, March 16, 2020
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

MAGA hat (Trump)A constitutional lawyer says a Virginia public school failed a real-life test on free speech rights.

Students at Marshall Middle School, located in Fauquier County, were encouraged to wear a hat to class as part of a fundraiser. But when some students wore read MAGA hats, school officials suddenly changed their minds.

The father of a hat-wearing teen told local media that bringing President Trump into the equation “triggers” some people who don’t like him.

An unnamed source told media the boys were taunting Hispanics at the school, but the school did not make that allegation and the parent said the boys did not bully anymore, Todd Starnes reported. 

John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute says school officials must show there was “material and substantial” interference at the school.

Whitehead, John (Rutherford Institute)“And they haven't shown that in what I've seen,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And there's precedence for these kids to be able to wear these hats."

Whitehead, who represents civil liberty cases at Rutherford, says school officials passed up a teaching opportunity on the importance of free speech. He suggests holding a school forum to discuss and debate the right to express opinions.

“Talk about the importance of free speech,” the attorney suggests. “Have the students debate it publicly but do not destroy free speech."

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