Students sue over suspensions for 'likes' on racist posts

The next day, the suspended students were allowed 20 days of independent study if they didn't feel safe at school, according to the lawsuit, while others returned with bodyguards provided by the district. "Does the school have the right to ruin my life over something I was doing at my house?" The four students seek unspecified damages and a court order removing the suspensions from their records. Part of connecting students to content is ensuring resources and materials reflect their interests and experiences, and making sure students are exposed to models of success who look like them and share their common experiences.

"The posts came to the district's attention in March, sparking protests".

Counselors and representatives from the school's Student Services Department will also be present for additional student support, according to Dr. Wagner.

"I made a decision to get involved with Lights On because one, I was missing out, and two, because everyone said it was super fun and I like helping the parents and their kids get their nails done", said Hailey Anacacy, a junior at South, who added that the annual event is a good way to teach the elementary school students about the program.

In a statement on its web site Thursday, the district said: "It goes without saying that the violence that transpired on Wednesday is intolerable and heart-wrenching".

Veronica, a mother of an Albany High sophomore who did not want to use her last name, said she did not see what the boys did as an issue of free speech.

But the image was ultimately posted on a students' private Instagram account.

Further investigation found a couple of students had posted memes on Instagram which appeared to portray 11 female students, most of color, with nooses around their necks and with their pictures featured next to images of apes.

The lawsuit claims the district brought suspended students before the student body at a "public shaming" session during which they were cursed and jeered.

Yorkey added that the students' First Amendment rights were impacted not because of what they said at school but because the school has really tried to overreach its authority to discipline the teens for things they did outside of school. But courts have disagreed about whether schools can punish students for off-campus speech that causes disruptions at school - a more likely scenario these days with the reach of social media -, said Aaron Caplan, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Volokh said California does not give schools extra authority to limit speech on campus, so the students in this case could prevail under state law.

Police arrested the four students on a variety of charges, including assault and reckless endangerment.

"Free speech is a fundamental right, but it can't be at the expense of hurting someone", said the uncle, who this news organization is not naming to protect the girl's identity.

  • Larry Hoffman