Court Watch - POSTED: 2009/01/23 16:36
A full federal appeals court won't hear a lawsuit by three Tennessee students threatened with suspension if they wore Confederate flag T-shirts.
A three-judge panel ruled in August that Blount County, just south of Knoxville, could ban the clothing. On Friday, the judges denied a request for a hearing by the full federal appeals court in Cincinnati.
Students Derek Barr and Craig and Chris White argued their free speech rights were violated by the ban on clothes with the flag, which is considered a symbol of racism and intolerance by some and an emblem of Southern heritage by others.
School officials said their ban came after racial tension at William Blount High.
There have been a string of similar claims from Texas to South Carolina since the 1990s.