The full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed public school administrators a big victory on Sept. 27, ruling that two elementary school principals are immune from suit for allegedly preventing students from distributing religious gifts at school.

Two students and their parents originally filed the so-called “Candy Cane case,” Doug Morgan, et al. v. Lynn Swanson, et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in 2004 after the principals told the parents the children could not distribute gifts, including candy cane-shaped pens, at an on-campus winter party. Attached to the pens were laminated cards titled “Legend of the Candy Cane” and text discussing the “Christian origin of candy canes,” the plaintiffs alleged in their brief to the en banc 5th Circuit.

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