High School student Matthew Schoenecker wore three tee shirts to school in Wisconsin that caused him to land in hot water.  One says “diversity” under a wide array of different types of guns.   Another spelled out the word “love” using various weapons.  A third one didn’t have any weaponry imagery, but it did include this sentence:  “If guns kill people, then I guess pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat.”

Matthew was told he could not wear these shirts to school, because they violated the dress code:

Clothing or articles displaying obscenities, suggestive slogans and/or images, nudity, gangs, crime, violence, occult worship, slanderous or harassing material, encouragement of disruptive behavior, weapons, beer/alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drug designs are prohibited.

Not so fast, says U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, in Schoenecker v. Koopman.

On Friday, she granted a preliminary injunction blocking the school from enforcing this rule, since it is likely unconstitutional. T-shirts = protected speech.  (Yes, even speech that the school district doesn’t want to see.)  The judge said the images on the shirts “are pure speech, in that they contain images and words that convey a message.”

Well, that’s a good development.  It’s almost like the Founding Fathers were onto something that perhaps the Markesan High School bureaucrats are not. In a world that is growing increasingly hostile to basic freedoms, it’s invigorating to see the First Amendment applied to protect the Second.

Hat Tip: Reason

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.