COVINGTON, La. – More than a month after the St. Tammany Parish School System allegedly told two students they cannot wear “Black Lives Matter” masks, the district is reversing course.
The decision comes after the ACLU of Louisiana sent the district a letter claiming the system violated the students’ First Amendment rights. Although they’re allowed to wear their BLM masks, their mom believes this should never have been an issue.
“Y’all made a big deal about a mask. Not education, but a mask,” Ebony Wright exclaimed.
Wright is still disgusted with the St. Tammany Parish School System and the obstacles her kids faced in order to wear Black Lives Matter masks.
“A mask that says Black Lives Matter hurt someone so much that you had to take my children out of school and stop education to say what,” Wright said.
According to Wright, her kids Suriah and Adrian were pulled from class in December and given in-school suspension. The district maintains that never happened.
“When I requested the documentation, they told me there was no documentation,” Wright said.
The ACLU of Louisiana believes the students did not violate the district’s “dress and grooming” policy.
“For them to be singled out is very troubling. It should have been obvious that their right to free speech is protected,” said ACLU attorney Bruce Hamilton.
In order to get permission to wear BLM masks, Wright had to file an application for exemption from the dress and grooming policy. Although, a spokesperson for the district said no one has to file for exemption to wear BLM masks.
In documents obtained by WGNO News, Wright did file an application and had to justify why her kids should receive an exemption.
Ultimately, the district’s lawyers sent two letters saying the exemptions were granted.
Hamilton said, “We maintain that the policy is unconstitutional in its face.”
The district said moving forward, families will not have to file exemptions over masks. A spokesperson said Wright was the first to make a case.
We asked Wright if she is planning to file suit against the district and she said she is leaving that up to her lawyers to decide the best way to move forward.