'Hitler Youth' Protest Buttons Contested

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The parents of two students threatened with suspension for donning buttons depicting Hitler youth are suing, claiming the boys' free speech rights were violated.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Friday, seeks to bar the Bayonne school district from suspending or disciplining seventh-grader Anthony LaRocco and fifth-grader Michael DePinto if they wear the protest buttons.

The buttons, which were made to protest a mandatory uniform policy for grades K-8 adopted in September, have the words "no school uniforms" with a slash over a superimposed photo of young boys wearing identical shirts and neckerchiefs.

A lawyer for the parents, Karin R. White Morgen, said her clients did not want to speak to reporters, but provided a statement from DePinto's mother, Laura DePinto.

"I've gotten overwhelming support from MANY people that tell me that they absolutely agree with what the image depicted, an ominously homogenous group of blindly cooperative children," the statement said.

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