Tuesday, February 01, 2022

High Schooler Sues Over Suspension For Religiously Motivated Anti-Gay Remarks

 A Michigan high school student sued this week for injunctive and declaratory relief as well as damages contending that his 3-day suspension violated his free speech rights as well as various other rights under state law and the Michigan and U.S. constitutions.  The school contended that the student had violated the school's Bullying/ Cyberbullying/ Harassment policy.  The complaint (full text) in Stout v. Plainwell Community Schools, (WD MI, filed 1/27/2022), alleges that:

Plaintiff is a Christian, who adheres to the historic and traditional Christian doctrine contained in the Bible regarding all life issues, including homosexual conduct....

According to the complaint, school officials told plaintiff's parents that their student:

was accused of “laughing” at some racial and homophobic “jokes” that other kids had told during the summer band camp months ago; that he had participated in an off campus, private group chat/text session during which he texted that God would not accept homosexual conduct because it is a sin; and that he had private, on campus conversations regarding religious beliefs with friends in the band that, while not directed towards any particular person, was overheard by another student.

MLive reports on the lawsuit.