A federal appeals court has ruled that Columbine High School, where a shooting led to 15 deaths in 1999, may prohibit religious ceramic tiles intended for a school memorial.
In the wake of the tragedy, the school offered students a chance to decorate 4-inch square tiles for a memorial display. The school, however, limited the messages that Could be expressed.
A group of parents of slain students, who wanted religious tiles to represent their families, filed a federal lawsuit. With assistance from the Rutherford Institute, the parents argued that school limits on religious messages were a violation of the First Amendment's protection of free speech. School officials noted, however, that they had to maintain some control over tile content in order to limit offensive messages. For example, administrators said, tiles with symbols of anarchy and a head dripping blood were also excluded.
While a lower court initially ruled in the parents' favor, the U.S...