Legal Memorandum: Wearing Headgear or Gang-related Clothing in School

Issue: Under the common law in the U.S., what cases have addressed the issue of wearing headgear or gang-related clothing on school property?

Area of Law: Constitutional Law, Education Law
Keywords: Wearing headgear or gang-related clothing; School property
Jurisdiction: Federal, Multistate
Cited Cases: 40 F. Supp. 2d 335; 795 A.2d 630; 827 F. Supp. 1459; 110 F.3d 1303; 424 F.2d 213; 976 F. Supp. 659
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2004

The following cases are instructive:

·         Isaacs v. Board of Educ. of Howard County, 40 F. Supp. 2d 335 (D. Md. 1999) (school “no-hats” policy prohibiting student from wearing African headwrap to school did not violate student’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and promotes important school interest in “providing a safe, respectful school environment that is conducive to education and learning.”).

·         Jeglin v. San Jacinto Unified Sch. Dist., 827 F. Supp. 1459 (C.D. Cal. 1993) (school dress code prohibiting students from wearing clothing identifying a particular professional sports team violated student’s First Amendment rights in absence of proof of gang-related activities associated with such clothing).

·         Byars v. City of Waterbury, 795 A.2d 630 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2001) (school dress policy prohibiting students from wearing blue jeans to school does not violate students’ constitutional rights as it was rationally related “to the purpose of reducing disruptions, arguments, thefts and loss of instructional time”).

·         Jackson v. C. R. Dorrier, 424 F.2d 213 (6th Cir. 1970) (school policy prohibiting male students from wearing long hair in school did not violate the students’ constitutional rights under the circumstances as the students were afforded due process and the school bore the “responsibility for maintaining proper standards of decorum and discipline and a wholesome academic environment at high school”).

·         Stephenson v. Davenport Comm. Sch. Dist., 110 F.3d 1303 (8th Cir. 1997) (School […]

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