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Free speech victory: Judge says student’s ‘Trump Border Wall Construction’ T-shirt allowed in school

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An Oregon student will be permitted to wear his "Border Wall Construction Co." T-shirt to school, according to a judge.

What's the background?

Officials at Hillsboro's Liberty High School suspended senior Addison Barnes for wearing the shirt to school in January because it "offended" people at the school.

The T-shirt features a logo reading "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co." and the quote, "The wall just got 10 feet taller."

According to Barnes, a teacher told him to cover up the shirt, so Barnes acquiesced and put on a jacket.

However, as the day went on, Barnes felt that by covering up his shirt was simply allowing the administration to stifle his free speech.

He took the jacket off — but was confronted once again and was told that he needed to cover up the T-shirt or face a school suspension.

Barnes chose the latter and went home.

"The T-shirt was just a representation of my political beliefs," Barnes told KGW-TV.

Barnes also told KGW that he had a teacher who hung a "pro-sanctuary city poster" in her classroom, for the whole year.

"Yet as I wear a pro-border wall shirt I get silenced and suspended for wearing that," he said.

Barnes decided to file a federal First Amendment lawsuit for nominal damages earlier in May.

So what's happening now?

In response to Barnes' lawsuit, a judge ruled that Barnes would, in fact, be allowed to wear the T-shirt to school.

On Thursday, The Oregonian reported that the high school must allow Barnes to wear the shirt for the remainder of the year, according to a temporary restraining order granted by the judge.

The restraining order bars the school from enforcing their previous determination that Barnes would not be able to wear the shirt to school.

The Oregonian reported that U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman determined that the school "could not justify its censorship" and said that the judge "balanced constitutionally protected speech with the orderly running of a school."

"There's not enough to go on here to show that sort of legitimate concern justifying censorship of this core political speech,'' Mosman ruled, according to the outlet.

"The T-shirt is core protected speech, and walking down the streets of Hillsboro, no state official — petty or grand — would be able to do much about that T-shirt legitimately under the Constitution,'' Mosman added.

Barnes is set to graduate on June 7, according to The Oregonian.

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