MN Teen Suing School, Police Chief After He’s Suspended for Tweet
A Minnesota court case about free speech could have national implications.
Reid Sagehorn says his First Amendment rights were violated after he was suspended for responding to an anonymous tweet, which claimed that he had kissed a Rogers High School gym teacher.
According to Sagehorn, he sarcastically replied, “Actually yes." A parent then reported the tweet to authorities.
Read more background from FoxNews.com:
The case was investigated by local police for possible criminal defamation charges; however, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office declined to press charges due to insufficient evidence. Authorities also confirmed there was never an inappropriate relationship between the two.
While prosecutors dropped the case, the lawsuit says the school district suspended Sagehorn for five days for violating school policy against "threatening, intimidating or assault of a teacher, administrator or other staff member." The suit claims that the district extended the suspension to ten days and moved toward expelling Sagehorn, forcing him to enroll in a different high school just four months before graduation.
His suspension sparked student protests and emotional comments from concerned parents at school board meetings, and it even inspired a social media campaign to bring him back to Rogers High School, located in a suburb approximately 25 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
Now, the controversy has hit the courtroom.
Sagehorn is seeking monetary damages and relief for legal expenses.
Jonna Spilbor, Arthur Aidala and Martha MacCallum discussed the case today on “The Real Story.” Spilbor argued that the student had a 3.75 GPA and that the tweet was not posted while on school grounds.
But Aidala said that nobody yet knows the boundaries of social media.
“Everything is brand new, it’s like the 1800s with the invention of the telephone,” he said.
“This is ridiculous,” Martha MacCallum said, “And this is what schools spend an enormous amount of time dealing with, this kind of junk, and they’re wasting their time. And this is why we’re like number 27 in the world in math and science because we’re wasting too much time on this junk.”
Watch the discussion above.