Addison Barnes is a student at the ironically named Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, where he was kicked out of class and suspended for wearing a pro-Trump shirt to class that read “Border Wall Construction Co. The Wall Just Got 10 Feet Taller.”
He filed a lawsuit in federal court, citing a violation of his 1st Amendment rights. One week after the suit was filed, the federal judge granted a temporary order stating that Barnes would be able to wear the shirt in school.
Today, the school district reached a settlement with Barnes in the amount of $25,000. Barnes will also receive a handwritten apology letter from principal Greg Timmons.
“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. “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.”
As Reported By ABC News:
In the short letter, Principal Timmons apologized for charging Barnes with a suspension and for “any inconvenience or upset the charging of the suspension caused you,” and wished him well in the future.
Referencing one of the most iconic student free speech cases, Tinker vs. Des Moines, in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students who protested the Vietnam War with armbands, Barnes’ lawyer Brad Benbrook said in court, “We brought the case to police the thought police,” adding “The First Amendment does not allow what is going on in too many schools today.”
It may only be a small victory for Barnes but it’s a massive victory for Conservatives who have been treated unfairly by liberals and forced to grin and bear it while the legal system stood by.