Two middle school students in Michigan are suing Tri County Area Schools, which is just north of Grand Rapids, after being told they cannot wear sweatshirts emblazoned with the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon.”
“The lawsuit claims an assistant principal and teacher at Tri County Middle School violated the students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by telling the students to remove apparel critical of President Joe Biden, saying it violated the district’s dress code,” Fox 17 West Michigan reported.
The students wore the sweatshirts on several occasions and each time they were told to remove the attire, according to the lawsuit, and a different student wore a Trump flag during a field day in June and was also told to remove it, though other students wearing LGBTQ+ flags were not told to remove them, according to the Fox affiliate.
The district’s dress code prohibits clothing “with messages or illustrations that are lewd, indecent, vulgar, or profane, or that advertise any product or service not permitted by law to minors,” according to court documents.
The legal team representing the students argues that the sweatshirts do not fall under these restrictions and that school officials are biased in their actions.
“Students have every right to wear LGBT attire to school, just as our clients have every right to wear ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ attire to school,” said Connor Fitzpatrick, attorney for the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. “The problem here isn’t with the message. The problem here is that the school district is trying to pick and choose which messages students are allowed to express when they come to school. And that’s something that First Amendment simply does not permit.”
For a refresher, as it seems like a lifetime ago, the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” took the nation by storm when NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown after he won an October 2021 race. The crowd in the background began chanting “F–k Joe Biden.”
“As you can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go, Brandon,’” Stavast said on air.
In addition to asking the court to grant a permanent injunction to stop the school district from enforcing a categorical ban on “Let’s Go Brandon” apparel, the students seek compensatory, nominal and punitive damages, Fox 17 noted.
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