Strict dress codes are common at many public schools in California, but Toni Kay Scott, 14, says her school crossed a constitutional line when it punished her for wearing knee socks with the Winnie-the-Pooh character Tigger.The school has designed its rule to be content- and viewpoint-neutral. I note that Scott also got in trouble for wearing a "drug prevention T-shirt." That's a good sign! I support the "Bong hits 4 Jesus" guy, but Tigger-kneesocks-drug-prevention girl needs to deal with it.
“I’ve been dress coded many times for little things,” said Ms. Scott, an honor student at Redwood Middle School in Napa. “Like wearing a shirt with a little Dickies or butterfly logo the size of my thumb.”
Ms. Scott is among six students who have filed a lawsuit against the school and the Napa Valley Unified School District saying the dress code is “unconstitutionally vague, overbroad and restrictive.” Filed Monday in Napa Valley Superior Court, the suit says the dress code violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by creating an “aesthetic conformity in the name of safety.”
The dress code forbids students to wear certain colors and apparel with writing, insignia, pictures, words and letters. It was largely intended do away with gang-related and other provocative symbols.
UPDATE: By contrast:
Heidi Zamecnik, 17, of Naperville, and Alexander Nuxoll, 14, filed the lawsuit against Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois on Wednesday, seeking the court's permission to openly express their opinions on homosexuality during an April 18 event meant to protest discrimination against gays.This demonstrates what's so good about the Redwood Middle School type of dress code.
In response to a National Day of Silence event at the school in April 2006, Zamecnik wore a shirt that read "My day of silence, Straight Alliance" on the front and "Be happy, not gay" on the back, according to the suit....
According to the suit, one school administrator ordered Zamecnik to remove the T-shirt and another official ordered her to cross out "not gay" with a marker.