Michigan: Christian high school student sues after suspension for sharing views on homosexuality
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A Christian high school student has filed a federal lawsuit against his Michigan school after he was suspended for sharing his religious beliefs about homosexuality with a student both on and off school property, CBN reports.
Represented by Great Lakes Justice Center, student David Stout is suing Plainwell Community Schools district, Plainwell High School’s principal and assistant principal for violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech and exercise of religion, CBN reports. Given his suspension for a text-message conversation that did not take place on school property, Stout’s lawsuit also claims the school sought “to police or punish speech or expression that does not occur ‘at school.'”
The court filing explains that Stout shared “his Christian beliefs about heterosexual/homosexual conduct in a series of private text messages with another child. The communication did not occur on the school grounds or campus, with school property, at a school-sponsored event or field trip, nor was it connected to any functions of the school in any way,” CBN reports.
Stout was also disciplined for not reporting other students’ inappropriate jokes, and for behavior, he was not even aware of. Moreover, he was told to stop sharing his religious views on social media, CBN said.
The lawsuit requests a declaratory judgment that the school district violated Stout constitutional rights, and asks for reversal of the disciplinary action in his school record, payment of financial damages, and attorney fees.
“Nothing David did caused any disruption or problem at the school. He has the right to express his opinion in accordance with his sincerely held religious beliefs, without vilification or punishment from the government for holding to those beliefs. Great Lakes Justice Center will defend our client’s freedoms to the fullest extent of the law,” the center’s Senior Legal Counsel David A. Kallman said in a statement.
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