An Oregon school bus driver who says his First Amendment rights were violated when he was fired for refusing to take down a Confederate battle flag emblazoned with the word "redneck" from his pickup truck has won his first round in court. A federal magistrate upheld on Thursday a lawsuit filed by Kenneth Webber against the school district.
Webber had driven K-12 students for six years as a bus driver for Oregon’s Jackson County School District 4 but he got in hot water early last year when he ignored a supervisor's repeated order to remove the controversial symbol of the Confederacy while his truck was parked on school property.
He was eventually suspended and fired for flying the birthday gift from his father. He later sued, arguing that the district was violating his right to express even an offensive idea without facing censorship or punishment from the government.
School Superintendent Ben Bergreen, who first noticed the flag in February, explained to the AP why he insisted the bus company force Webber to take down the flag.
"The fact is, our district is about 37 percent minority students," he told the AP last year. "It's fairly common knowledge that the Confederate battle flag is perceived by folks as a racist or negative symbol. The Southern Poverty Law Center said more than 500 extremist groups use it as one of their symbols."Oh no, the dreaded $PLC mentioned.........:)
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|The Despicable $outhern Poverty Law Center|