In August 2008 the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the policy of William Blount High School of banning the wearing of Confederate flag symbols.  The students who wore the symbols had claimed that their First Amendment rights were violated by the ban, since no disruption had occurred and other controversial symbols were permitted in the school.  But the Appeals Court said the ban was constitutional "because of the disruptive potential of the flag in a school where racial tension is high." 

(The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has jurisdiction over Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio as well as Tennessee).


Two weeks after the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging viewpoint discrimination, Metro Nashville schools lifted its filter on gay-themed web sites.  Students had been able to access sites that aimed to undermine gay desires, but were blocked from such sites as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

In 2005, the principal of the Eagleville School District withheld a student's diploma because he found his valedictorian speech to be offensive. One line of the speech read: “You have given us the minimum required attention and education that is needed to master any station at any McDonald’s anywhere.” This was immediately followed by: “Of course, I am only kidding. Eagleville is a fine institute of higher learning, with a superb faculty and staff.” W
hen the valedictorian refused to remove the controversial lines from his speech, and delivered it as written, the principal shut down the sound system and refused to hand him his diploma.  The student called the ACLU, and soon after the school officials announced that they would return his diploma and allow the boy to graduate. 

In 2008, a federal district court jury failed to reach a verdict in a case concerning the Anderson County School District dress code which banned clothing featuring the Confederate flag. Tommy DeFoe had been suspended more than 40 times for wearing Confederate flag apparel. School officials argued the ban was necessary because of a history of racial tension in the school district.