Precinct 333

Monday, April 11, 2005

No Freedom For Patriotic Teen

They are after her again, even after she took them to court!

The saga continues for a 13-year-old Mont Pleasant Middle School student who is suing school officials for the right to wear a handmade red, white and blue necklace to class.

Raven Furbert was a typical student before she received a string-it-yourself bead kit for Christmas.

Now, the girl who filed the civil rights violation claim in U.S. District Court in February has drawn national attention as she fights administrators who say paraphernalia featuring gang-oriented colors is prohibited. At least 50 Web sites have been dedicated to her.

Furbert said she wears the necklace in honor of soldiers serving overseas, including an uncle and three other relatives.

Friday, the case again boiled over when Furbert's mother, Katie Grzywna, was called to school after her daughter was threatened with in-school suspension if she didn't remove the beads.

Simply outrageous and patently unconstitutional. It is a clear point of law -- students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate! When will the administrators take seriously the fact that Tinker v. Des Moines has been settled law for over 35 years? Heck, a federal court here in Houston held that an anti-gang policy did not trump the right of teens to wear a rosary around their necks, so I don't see how this one can stand, either.

And I have to wonder -- does this latest violation of young Raven's rights rise to a level that the administrators will be held responsible in their personal capacity, and not just on the school district's insurance policy?


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