Suit: School ban on Black Lives Matter shirts discriminatory

January 10, 2023 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia school district is being sued by students who say they were barred from wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts to school events while their white peers regularly wear shirts printed with Confederate flags.

The lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court against school administrators in Effingham County. It says the district’s unfair application of its dress code is part of a broader pattern of discrimination and “deliberate indifference to acts of racial animosity” that violate the civil rights of Black students.

School administrators in Effingham County have cited a districtwide policy prohibiting clothing that “may contribute to disruption,” the lawsuit says, to keep students from wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.

One of the student plaintiffs was denied entry to a high school football game because she wore a Black Lives Matter shirt, the lawsuit said. It alleges that white students in the school district regularly wear shirts printed with Confederate flags.

Effingham County School Superintendent Yancy Ford said in a statement to news outlets that the district had not yet been served with the lawsuit. He said any response to its claims would be made in court.

The lawsuit lists as plaintiffs three unnamed Black teenagers who attend high school in Effingham County, where 65,000 people live in rural and suburban communities west of Savannah. The complaint was filed by the mother of one of the teens acting as their attorney.