Student Wins $25,000 Settlement After Being Suspended Over Pro-Trump Shirt

A former student at Liberty High School in Oregon has won a legal battle against his school and school district after he was suspended for wearing a shirt supporting President Donald Trump

Addison Barnes was suspended in January after he was told to turn his shirt inside out or go home. The shirt said ”Border Wall Construction Co." with Trump's quote, "the wall just got 10 feet taller" written at the bottom. 

Barnes refused to cooperate and sued his high school, the school district, and the school's principal Greg Timmons for violating his first amendment rights. 

"I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views,'' Barnes said in a statement to Oregon Live. "Everyone knows that if a student wears an anti-Trump shirt to school, the teachers won't think twice about it. But when I wore a pro-Trump shirt, I got suspended. That's not right.''

The school district decided the best course of action was to settle with Barnes and they reached an agreement in which the district will pay $25,000 to cover Barnes legal fees and apologize for suspending him. 

Timmons wrote a short letter apologizing for suspending Barnes.

"As an educational institution, Hillsboro School District and each of our schools supports, encourages, and celebrates free speech and reasoned debate. We also have a responsibility to ensure that each of our students feels welcome and safe in our schools so they can effectively learn. This was an instance where we were challenged to do both simultaneously and the decision landed on the side of ensuring student safety. Moving forward, we will continue to use professional discretion to meet both objectives and will actively seek ways to turn sensitive situations into learning opportunities."

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