A group of students has filed a free speech lawsuit in Saline, Mich. alleging that their civil rights were violated by school administrators who punished them for their banter in a private Snapchat group.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in U.S. District Court in Detroit on behalf of four anonymous students, who were punished by the school district following a hysteria regarding racism after they sent joking messages in a chat room. The lawsuit alleges that two students were suspended as a result of their out-of-school speech while two others have been recommended for expulsion.
“The school is acting outside the scope of its authority, has no legal right to impose the discipline carried out, and has violated our clients’ constitutional rights by their reckless and hasty rush to judgment,” lawyer David A. Kallman, the attorney for the children, said in a statement.
The lawsuit claims that the school district has no jurisdiction to punish the children based on messages sent from their “homes, privately owned phones, on a non-school day.”
The students want the district to admit in a declaration that their actions were an infringement upon the students’ 1st Amendment rights. They also want the school district to formalize changes to their rules so other students’ rights are not similarly violated and for the students’ records and transcripts to be completely expunged moving forward.
Saline Superintendent Scot Graden called the private Snapchat postings that were brought to his attention “an act of racism that created harm to all of our students, especially students of color.” Kallman believes that he overreacted and took the messages out of their proper context.
“African-American and Caucasian children were using inappropriate and offensive language in a joking manner and in the context of immature banter among friends,” Kallman said in his news release about the case.
“The conversation did not occur at the school, at a school event, or on any school equipment. While all the children are embarrassed by their language, it does not justify the school’s rush to judgment and overreaction,” he added.
Kallman believes that this is a matter for parents to deal with and out of the jurisdiction of public school bureaucrats who want to push their left-wing values onto students.
“If a child gets stopped for drunk driving on a Saturday night, does the school have the right to expel that student? The answer is obvious. No,” Kallman wrote. “The conversation of these children had nothing to do with the school. It has no authority to discipline students for out of school misbehavior.”
Graden, the Saline Area Schools Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent Steve Laatsch, Saline High School Principal David Raft, Saline High School Assistant Principal and football coach Joe Palka, Assistant Principal Theresa Stager, Director of Student Services Molly Garcia, and Assistant Principal Kirk Evenson are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
A Saline high school football player released a threatening video in the midst of the controversy warning all those who support free speech that they are “outnumbered.” It has since become a rallying cry for the social justice warriors in the city to impose their anti-constitutional agenda.
“From all the people that believe in change to all the people who don’t: You’re outnumbered,” the student said in his video address.
The lawsuit hopes to push back against the diversity and tolerance mob and achieve a victory for the 1st Amendment against a leftist-dominated school system that is notoriously hostile to constitutional principles.
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HUGE: 5th Circuit Court Affirms Texas Abortion Ban During Coronavirus Pandemic
A big league victory for sanity.
The 5th Circuit Court has issued a decision allowing the state of Texas to ban elective abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, as medical supplies are in high demand to treat victims of the illness.
The panel made the ruling by a 2-1 margin on Tuesday. The majority cited “the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health” in making their decision.
Breaking: 5th Circuit rules for Texas in case over coronavirus abortion ban. Judge Kyle Duncan, a Trump appointee, cites "the escalating spread of COVID-19, and the state’s critical interest in protecting the public health."
— Emma Platoff (@emmaplatoff) April 7, 2020
Judges Stuart Kyle Duncan, a Trump appointee, and Jennifer Elrod, an appointee of George W. Bush, made up the majority while Judge James Dennis, a Clinton appointee, dissented with the ruling.
“That settled rule allows the state to restrict, for example, one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home,” the majority wrote. “The right to abortion is no exception.”
The panel also determined that the lower court erred when they refused to apply the Supreme Court’s test to determine the constitutionality of abortion restrictions. The SCOTUS test pertains to the legal review of weighing the burden on a woman’s access to abortion services against the medical benefits of the restrictions on abortion.
The majority ultimately determined that the lower court “failed to balance (the Texas restriction’s) temporary burdens on abortion against its benefits in thwarting a public health crisis.”
“The bottom line is this: when faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some “real or substantial relation” to the public health crisis,” Judge Duncan and Judge Elrod wrote in their majority opinion.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a guidance last month declaring that all abortions “not medically necessary to preserve the life or health” of the woman would be considered a “non-essential” medical service throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors who refuse to comply and murder babies in the womb despite the order are subject to “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time.”
The Democrat on the panel is dismayed with the opinion of the majority and would have preferred to keep the baby-mutilating industry going in Texas while coronavirus poses a serious threat to public safety.
“In a time where panic and fear already consume our daily lives, the majority’s opinion inflicts further panic and fear on women in Texas by depriving them, without justification, of their constitutional rights, exposing them to the risks of continuing an unwanted pregnancy, as well as the risks of travelling to other states in search of time-sensitive medical care,” Dennis wrote.
Because of this ruling, Texas is permitted to make common-sense decisions to conserve medical supplies during an unprecedented crisis.
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