April 5 , 2007:
ACLU-TN Urges Metro Nashville School Board To Vote NO on Proposed School Dress Code Policy
For Immediate Release
Thursday April 5, 2007
For More Information, Contact: Hedy Weinberg,
Nashville – Citing numerous constitutional concerns, ACLU-TN today urged the Metro Nashville School Board to vote against the proposed standard school attire (SSA) policy they will consider at their April 10 meeting.
In its letter (click here to view the letter) to the School Board, ACLU-TN explained that the proposed policy is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. According to Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director, “the implementation of the proposed policy would raise significant freedom of speech, due process, equal protection, and privacy concerns.”
In an effort to assist the Board in understanding the potential consequences of passage of the proposed dress code, ACLU-TN highlighted various provisions in the proposal analyzing why:
the SSA policy is content based and is ripe for viewpoint discrimination;
the SSA policy is unconstitutionally overbroad and vague;
implementation of the SSA policy will chill students’ rights of free speech and expression;
the SSA policy infringes on the religious rights of students;
the SSA policy violates the privacy rights of students;
the SSA policy authorizes the use of unchecked discretion in its enforcement; and
the SSA policy violates students’ rights of free speech and expression.
ACLU-TN proposes that if board members choose not to vote against the proposed policy they should at a minimum include an “opt-out” provision so that parents can decide how their children dress.
According to Weinberg, “The United States Supreme Court has long held that students do not shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolyard. The proposed policy shows total disregard for students’ right to freedom of expression, due process, and equal protection rights.”
American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN)
Post Office Box 120160
Nashville, TN 37212