A California school district has reversed course and will now ask students wearing anti-gay stickers on their identification badges to remove them pending further investigation.

The Desert Sun newspaper reports (http://desert.sn/1Qqi6WV ) that the Desert Sands Unified School District sent a letter Monday to staff saying it will ask a dozen students wearing the symbols to remove them while at school.

Administrators had previously said they couldn't ask students at Shadow Hills High School to stop donning the image of a small rainbow inside a circle with a line through it, citing free speech rights.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the change at the school near Palm Springs, California.

The students began using the stickers last month and classmates and teachers complained, saying gay and lesbian students felt targeted.

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Information from: The Desert Sun, http://www.mydesert.com/