MEDFORD, Ore. — A school bus company being sued by a driver who was fired for refusing to take off of his pickup truck a Confederate flag with the word "redneck" on it has asked for the case to be dismissed, The Associated Press reports.
First Student Inc. said that Ken Webber, who drove a bus carrying Phoenix-Talent School District #4 students, considered the flag to be an expression of his identity and lifestyle, and that therefore, his flag is not constitutionally protected speech because its message is not a matter of public concern. First Student also argued that as a private entity, it is not subject to First Amendment protections that might apply to the school district.
Phoenix-Talent School District #4 Superintendent Ben Bergreen had seen the flag on a visit to the district's bus lot and demanded that it be removed from school property, citing a policy prohibiting symbols that could be offensive to minorities.
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