Judge allows wristbands in Watson Chapel | Arkansas Blog

Judge allows wristbands in Watson Chapel



U.S. District Court Judge Leon Holmes this afternoon granted a preliminary injunction allowing Watson Chapel students to continue wearing black wristbands until the trial for their First Amendment lawsuit.

The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing in behalf of the students' right to wear the wristbands, which the Watson Chapel School District superintendent said was a violation of the district's uniform policy.

Holmes agreed with the ACLU's contention that the continued restriction would cause irreparable harm because the wristbands are a form of speech.

The next hearing in the case is expected in November or December.

ACLU release on the jump


Today at a hearing in federal court in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, federal Judge Leon Holmes agreed with the ACLU of Arkansas that the black armbands the students were wearing to protest the Watson Chapel uniform policy were a form of speech protected by the Constitution.  The judge issued a preliminary injunction ordering the school district not to use the suspensions that had been given to students who wore the armbands concerning any future dress code violations, at least until the trial, for which the date has not yet been set.  Parties agreed that for now at least the armbands would only be worn on the wrist.

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