(TheLastPatriotNews.com) – HAPPENING NOW: A Colorado high school student who wanted to wear a sash showcasing both the Mexican and American flags at her graduation lost her lawsuit against the school district.
The student, Naomi Peña Villasano, alleged that the district had infringed upon her right to free speech.
Villasano, represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, also requested a temporary court order to allow her to wear the sash during the graduation on May 27. But Federal Judge Nina Y. Wang rejected this request.
The case revolved around the rules of Garfield County School District 16 in the western region of Colorado.
The district indicated that graduation sashes or cords usually signify membership in a nationally recognized group; honors such as top-of-class achievement; plans to join the military; or “regalia that is part of a Native American or Pacific Islander tribe.”
The school district also allows students to decorate their graduation caps with the flag of a nation recognized by the United Nations.
Judge Wang ruled that the attire worn by a student at graduation implies approval by the school, making it a form of school-sponsored speech during the ceremony. The school district argued that uniform attire was necessary to maintain a sense of unity, an argument that Judge Wang agreed with.
The judge noted that Villasano could have displayed the sash design on her graduation cap or worn the sash before and after the ceremony.
Judge Wang concluded, “While Naomi may prefer to wear the sash during the graduation ceremony, the Court respectfully agrees with the School District and concludes that Naomi will not suffer significant harm by expressing her culture in a way other than the sash.”
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