A federal judge has ruled that a Louisiana high school student can have a painting of President Donald Trump in his parking space.
High school seniors in at Pine Junior-Senior High School in Washington Parish, Louisiana, can pay a fee and paint their assigned parking spaces.
A federal judge ordered the Washington Parish School District to let a senior at a high school in Franklinton repaint President Trump's face in his school parking spot. https://t.co/4f3ienL5UL— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) October 10, 2020
This year, senior Ned Thomas had President Donald Trump, in a stars-and-stripes bandana and sunglasses painted after receiving school approval. He paid a friend to make the artwork in his parking space.
After the space was painted with Trump, the Superintendent had the image painted over with gray paint, with the School Board's backing. Reportedly, the painting was too political.
Thomas took the school district to court and the judge sided with the student.
“The painting of President Trump cannot reasonably be described as obscene or plainly offensive on its face, nor can it be construed as school-sponsored speech,” U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon wrote in his decision on Friday.
Fallon wrote that to remove the image, the school district would have to show that the painting was “materially disruptive” or hampered school activities, NOLA.com reported.
The painting, 'while it is certainly a stylized and colorful image, depicts the sitting President of the United States,' he wrote. 'This is not a case involving a symbol such as a Confederate flag, which has an established meaning as a ‘symbol of racism and intolerance, regardless of whatever other meanings may be associated with it.’
He ruled that, 'ultimately, it is clear that school officials in this case acted based upon ‘an urgent wish to avoid controversy which might result from the expression.’
Thomas said, his friend that painted the original image of Trump will return to do it again.
“I’ve seen nothing but support from the community and all around,” he told NOLA.com. “I didn’t think there would be any conflict, but the School Board thought otherwise.”