School District’s Unduly Harsh Discipline Violates Student’s Free Speech Rights

Kansas City, Mo.  – The ACLU of Missouri sent a letter to the Independence School District urging the superintendent to reconsider the suspension of Truman High senior Kylan Scheele. The district’s disproportionately harsh punishment violates Scheele’s free speech rights and also does a public disservice by discouraging young people from exercising their constitutional right to express themselves.

“While these are tough times in schools, we do students no favors by inspecting their off-campus speech for any hint of a threat and then punishing them,” said Tony Rothert, legal director, ACLU of Missouri. “Independence is where Harry S Truman, the last U.S. president with nothing more than a high school diploma, participated in his graduation. There is still time for the Independence School District to encourage democratic principles by making this right and allowing Kylan to walk across that stage.”

The ACLU is asking the school district to respond by 10 a.m. on May 25.

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