In Southeast Georgia, three Black students are suing a school district for allegedly enforcing a dress code that forbade Black Lives Matter attire but allowed nooses and Confederate merchandise on campuses.
According to The Grio, the three students claim this violated their First Amendment rights, leading their families to file federal lawsuits against the Effingham County School District.
Lakeisha Hamilton, the mother of one of the students, and Tauretta McCray, the mother of the other two students, claim administrators at Effingham County High School and Effingham College & Career Academy participated in a pattern of ignoring racial discrimination reports.
“The school permits faculty to display paraphernalia supporting former President Donald Trump,” a statement from the lawsuit reads. “However, the school has expressly prohibited Plaintiffs from wearing Black Lives Matter messaging because it is disruptive and controversial.”
According to The Grio, a Black student was allegedly denied entry at a school football game for wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. Meanwhile, another student was reportedly allowed to enter the game despite wearing a shirt that read “Stomp on My Flag; I’ll Stomp Your A**.”
The lawsuit documents claim that Black students wearing Black Lives Matter clothing evoke a disruption, while the Confederate flag represents heritage and pride.
The lawsuit also alleges a separate incident when a white teacher made racist remarks to students and allowed “a white student wearing a full Hitler costume during spirit week.”
Effingham County School District Superintendent Yancy Ford and the five board members are named defendants in the lawsuit.
“Defendants have been aware of a pervasive and consistent pattern of peer-to-peer harassment and discrimination,” the lawsuit reads. “Yet they failed to prevent or address the peer-to-peer racial harassment that was sufficiently serious as to create a hostile environment; that is, harassment that denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from school.”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare that the Effingham County School District’s actions violated the Civil Rights Act and its students’ First and 14th Amendments. It also requests the student’s disciplinary records regarding the charges expunged.