Hardwick v. Heyward, No. 12-1445 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, by and through her parents, sued the school principals and school board pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violations of her First Amendment right to free speech and expression and her Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. Defendants prohibited plaintiff from wearing and on one occasion punished her for wearing Confederate flag shirts at school. When, as here, student speech threatened to disrupt school, school officials could prohibit or punish that speech. The school officials therefore did not violate plaintiff's First Amendment right when they refused to allow her to wear Confederate flag shirts and protest shirts at school, and the dress codes and their enforcement did not infringe on plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants.