SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court wrestled with a case Thursday that pits the right of students to wear American flag T-shirts against the need for school administrators to ensure campus safety.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, meeting here for arguments, appeared inclined to accept that school officials had reason to be concerned when several boys showed up in U.S. flag shirts during Cinco de Mayo in 2010 at a Northern California high school where there had been racial tensions.
But the judges did not clearly indicate whether that concern for safety justified a school official’s decision to tell the students to turn their shirts inside out or go home. The students went home.
The court is likely to rule on the case within the next few months.