“to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views”
A student from Oregon named Addison Barnes sued his high school after being suspended for wearing a Trump-themed t-shirt featuring the words “Border Wall Construction Co.” The school just settled with him for a cool $25,000.
It all began back in May of this year.
Brenna Kelly of FOX 12 Oregon reported:
Student asked to cover Trump shirt sues Hillsboro school district
A high school student in Hillsboro is suing the school district after he says his First Amendment rights were violated.
FOX 12 spoke with 18-year-old Liberty High School senior, Addison Barnes, who says he was asked to cover up a President Donald Trump shirt he was wearing or, instead, leave school.
“If somebody else disagrees with me politically, I think they should be able to express their viewpoints just as I should be able to express my viewpoints in school,” he said.
Barnes says he knew what he was doing when he wore a controversial shirt to his “People and Politics” class, in which the topic that day was immigration.
He was sent home that day, on Jan. 19, when he refused to cover it up, and tells FOX 12 he’s sticking up for his First Amendment rights.
The shirt included the words “Donald J Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” and a quote from the president: “The wall just got 10 feet taller.”
Barnes says the assistant principal pulled him out of class because his shirt offended students and a teacher.
“She gave me the option; either I cover the shirt up or I get sent home,” he said.
The lawsuit didn’t take long to produce results.
The FOX News Insider reports:
Student Suspended for Trump Border Wall Shirt to Get $25G and Formal Apology
An Oregon high school student who sued his school district after administrators said he couldn’t wear a pro-Trump border wall T-shirt will be given a written apology and $25,000 in a settlement…
Barnes sued his school, the Hillsboro School District and Principal Greg Timmons, claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.
On Tuesday, Barnes’ lawyers announced they had reached a settlement with the district.
Timmons will write a letter of apology to Barnes, and the district will pay $25,000 to Barnes to cover his legal fees.
Barnes said in a statement that he brought the case “to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views.”
Principal Timmons released this statement:
As an educational institution, Hillsboro School District and each of our schools supports, encourages, and celebrates free speech and reasoned debate. We also have a responsibility to ensure that each of our students feels welcome and safe in our schools so they can effectively learn. This was an instance where we were challenged to do both simultaneously and the decision landed on the side of ensuring student safety. Moving forward, we will continue to use professional discretion to meet both objectives and will actively seek ways to turn sensitive situations into learning opportunities.
Here’s a short video report:
Congratulations to Mr. Barnes on his win, which is also a victory for free speech.
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