Students Take Stand: File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Georgia School District After BLM Gear Ban

Students at a high school in Georgia are taking a stand to wear what they want.

Two students from Effingham County High School and one from Effingham College and Career Academy filed a civil rights lawsuit after the district banned students from wearing clothes with Black Lives Matter messaging.

The 12-page lawsuit, obtained by WBTW, claims the ban places a “deliberate indifference to acts of racial animosity” toward Black students attending the schools. It also outlines how certain administrators went the extra mile in “an egregious pattern of deliberately ignoring complaints.”

The students parents’, Lakeisha Hamilton and Tauretta McCray, filed the suit under their names, saying it violates their children’s freedom of speech.

Hamilton said the ban is part of a continuous pattern.

“The N-word was written on a locker. The baseball coach had found it. He reported it to administration,” Hamilton told WBTW. Hamilton’s son plays for the baseball team, but she said parents didn’t find out about the incident until December 6.

The lawsuit names several other instances including a Black student being turned away at a football game because of the Black Lives Matter shirt being worn. At the same event, a white student entered with a shirt saying “Stomp on My Flag; I’ll Stomp Your A**.” There have been nooses hung on campus, confederate flags and apparel allowed as well as a teacher approved Hitler costume worn by a student.

It gets worse. Reportedly, there is a video of Effingham County students mocking George Floyd’s death.

Hamilton complains that these incidents show “total disregard for the feelings of Black and especially Jewish students, and there was no consequence to be had, because like I said, [the student] had been given prior approval to do it.”

The lawsuit states that “the school’s dress code and disciplinary policies create an atmosphere where certain viewpoints including white nationalism and white supremacy are permitted but speech of an ideologically different viewpoint is expressly prohibited,” according to The Hill.

The plantiffs aren’t going in without a fight. They want a trial by jury as well as an investigation of the Georgia-based school district by the U.S. Department of Education. The hope of the students and their parents is the court seeing how the school district violated the student’s rights under the Civil Rights Act and Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

They also want the court to issue a permanent injunction, requiring the school district expunge the incidents from the plaintiffs’ school records. The Hill reports that the district has yet to be served.

“Once we have been served, a response to the allegations will be filed in accordance with the rules and procedures of the court,” said Effingham County School District superintendent, Dr. Yancy Ford, who is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. .