A Colorado highschool senior is taking authorized motion towards her college district after officers denied her request to put on a sash with a picture of the U.S. and Mexican flags throughout her upcoming commencement.
The district’s resolution is a violation of Naomi Villasano’s constitutionally protected proper to free speech, in line with a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Authorized Protection and Instructional Fund (MALDEF), a Latino authorized civil rights group, and the Greenberg Traurig, LLP, legislation agency.
In accordance with the lawsuit involving Garfield County Faculty District 16, Grand Valley Excessive Faculty Principal Kelly McCormick advised Villasano, who’s 18, that she could not put on the sash regardless of acknowledging that the college, positioned within the city of Parachute, did not have a selected written coverage about regalia worn on or over the commencement robe.
Garfield County Faculty District Superintendent Jennifer Baugh adopted up by emailing Villasano and writing, “The district didn’t allow flags on regalia as a result of it didn’t wish to open the door to a pupil sporting a Accomplice flag pin or flag that might trigger offense,” the lawsuit said.
Villasano, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, argued earlier than the college board that she’s “a 200 percenter — 100% American and 100% Mexican,” and said within the MALDEF information launch that “it will be important for me to characterize my tradition not just for myself however for my household.”
The lawsuit claims she is being denied her proper to free speech and calls upon the defendants to let her put on the sash at her commencement on Saturday.
“We dwell in an age of accelerating threats to the First Modification in public faculties,” mentioned Thomas Saenz, MALDEF president and basic counsel. “Right here, the district has wrongly concluded that it’s allowed to discriminate towards sure college students and their heritage whereas honoring that of different college students; our Structure doesn’t allow such apparent discrimination.”
The district’s superintendent, college board members and the Grand Valley Excessive Faculty principal are listed as defendants within the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday within the U.S. District Courtroom for the District of Colorado.
Responding to an e-mail from NBC Information, Superintendent Baugh mentioned in a press release: “Right now, the District doesn’t have a touch upon the pending litigation.”
Villasano mentioned she’s preventing towards the ban in hopes of creating a change, “not only for Latinos, however for all future graduates in order that no one else has to undergo what I’ve been by means of,” in line with the assertion.
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