Exposing Hillary So She Won't Get Elected

California High School Suspends for ‘Liking’ a Racist Social Media Post. They Respond with a Lawsuit

In early 2017, a scandal erupted at San Francisco’s Albany High School when i was discovered that a number of students were sharing racist photos across social media.

As KRON reports, when some of these posts were found to target “other students at the school and at least one member of the faculty,” the school moved to discipline over a dozen students, “including several who only liked or commented on the images.”

After several students were suspended, and with one facing expulsion, a group of students has filed a lawsuit against Albany to overturn their punishment.

Lawyers, however, aren’t defending the content of the posts, but argue that – as it all happened outside of school – the decision to punish the students would be a violation of their First Amendment rights.

The images, which reportedly “included nooses drawn around necks of some African American students and side-by-side photos of the girls and apes,” were primarily posted on students’ private Instagram accounts.

Because those private accounts aren’t connected officially to the school or any school activity, lawyers, such as Alan Beck say that Albany over-extended its authority in punishing the students and that their records should be expunged of their various suspensions.

As Beck, who’s representing several of the suspended students, argues:

“This to me is no different than having a private drawing book and making some offensive drawings at home and sharing them with a couple of my friends.

Does the school have the right to ruin my life over something I was doing at my house?”

Beyond that, students allege that they were forced to take part in several “healing” and “restorative justice” exercises that they say were practically “public shaming.”

As their lawsuit claims:

The plaintiffs and the other suspended students were forced to march through the high school and were lined up in full view of all or most of the student body.

School administrators allowed the student body to hurl obscenities, scream profanities, and jeer at the plaintiffs and the other suspended students, who were all not allowed to leave …

The lawsuit also claims that, during one of these exercises, two of the suspended students were assaulted physically, leaving one with a broken nose.

Legally, experts say that one of the biggest questions in the case will center on what happens when free speech, social media, and school safety collide.

Given that some of the students were suspended for only ‘liking’ one of these posts, the courts will be faced with the tough question of determining what a ‘like’ entails.

As Eugene Volokh, a free speech law professor at University of California, Los Angeles, explains:

“’Likes’ are ambiguous in that they could be saying, ‘This is funny,’ ‘I agree with it,’ or ‘I don’t agree, but I want to stand up for your right to say it.”

For many other students, including those that were targeted in the posts, what the suspended group did was nothing less than “a hate crime.”

Lerond Mallard, a father of one of the students targeted in the controversial posts, said that there should be “zero tolerance” for such behavior from students, adding:

“To try to spin this some other way is misguided, wrong headed and it’s not the lessons and the values that you want to be giving to young children.”

The school, for its part, says that it has no intention of backing down, and will defend the disciplinary action it took against the students.

The Albany School District says it is reviewing the lawsuit, and it is expected to issue an official, legal response in the coming days.