Last time I wrote about this was in March of 2010 but it all started in 2007 when the principal of San Diego school ordered the math teacher to remove the huge and God-themed patriotic signage he’d hung all over his classroom. Three years later, the judge sided with teacher Bradley Johnson stating unfair discrimination as the reason. Now it’s a different story and the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has taken the opposite route, stating that principals and school districts do have the right to set rules down about what’s acceptable to hang in their schools, so never mind if Johnson’s old school let him hang the banners for 20 years. New school, new rules. Follow the rules or work somewhere else, frankly.
Tuesday’s unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based court reverses Benitez’s ruling.
In its decision, the court ruled that Benitez confused overall restrictions placed on a government agency when it tries to regulate free speech of private citizens with the more expansive right of a governmental agency to set rules for workplace speech.
Johnson has been ordered to pay the district’s legal bills. I expect the story won’t end here because Johnson didn’t win.