Lawyer says Montana Schools Can Restrict Confederate flag

A student in Missoula was suspended for repeatedly wearing a Confederate flag sweatshirt

By Justin Franz

MISSOULA — A lawyer says a Montana school may restrict the presence or display of the Confederate flag in order to protect its educational environment.

Elizabeth Kaleva advises Missoula County Public Schools where a student was suspended for repeatedly wearing a Confederate flag sweatshirt. The student says he was wearing it to stand up for free speech, not to threaten anyone.

Kaleva tells the Missoulian that there are a lot of cases where the use of the Confederate flag has been banned at schools and been upheld in court although Montana does not have a court ruling specifically on the Confederate flag.

But she says in general administrators recognize students’ rights to free speech at public schools, but they also must weigh whether the exercise of that freedom disrupts education.

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