Mary Ann Chastain  /  AP
Candice Michele Hardwick, center, and her parents, Daryl and Prescilla, hold up some of the T-shirts that the Latta school officials deemed werre disruptive during a news conference Thursday at the Federal Courthouse in Florence, S.C.
updated 3/31/2006 4:31:04 PM ET 2006-03-31T21:31:04

The family of a high school sophomore has filed a suit seeking to force school officials to allow the girl to wear clothing with Confederate flag images.

The federal lawsuit was filed Thursday by the North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center, a Confederate heritage legal advocacy group.

Candice Hardwick, 15, said she wants to wear the Confederate emblem to pay tribute to an ancestor who fought for the South in the Civil War.

Latta High School officials say the symbol, which many people consider racially charged, is disruptive in school, and that district policies allow principals to ban such clothing.

The teen said she has been forced to change clothes or turn her shirt inside-out. She said she has been suspended twice and threatened with being kicked off the track team.

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