Student wins 'Nobama' case

Arrested and suspended for one day for wearing a “Nobama” shirt outside a pre-election speech by Michelle Obama in his high school gym, a Colorado high school student has won a s$4,000 settlement with his school district and the sheriff’s office.  The speech was scheduled for after school hours. Blake Benson stayed on campus and held up a McCain sign as classmates entered the gym.

According to the ACLU, Dakota Ridge school officials told Benson to leave. When he refused, officials had Benson handcuffed, searched and arrested for interference — a charge that carries up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.

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  1. “They belong to the 2011 class. On the shirts, the number 11 resembles two buildings, with the school’s “Thunderbird” mascot flying toward them. Printed beneath the image are the words, “You can’t bring us down.”

    It sounds as thought the t-shirt challenge was directed at the school. I guess that mitigates the lack of taste somewhat.

  2. I hope that those who feel that the ACLU only represents “left wing” people and organizations remember how they stepped up on behalf of this young man. The ACLU is a fine and worthy organization who feel strongly about protecting our civil liberties regardless of the political position of the person/group that is being deprived of their rights.

  3. The ACLU is a highly politicized organization that gets positively hysterical over transgressions on the First and Fifth Amendments, doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the Tenth Amendment, is largely responsible for misrepresentation and misuse of the Establishment Clause and would strike the Second Amendment from the Constitution without hesitation.

    If the ACLU were really as fine and worthy an organization as you think, Swede they would’ve brought a much larger suit against the plaintiffs upon the dropping of the criminal charges as tacit evidence of misuse of the authority of law enforcement agencies.

  4. Yet, if the student has worn a “Yes we can!” t-shirt he would have received a pat on the back.

  5. The ACLU occasionally files these things just to claim nonpartisanship.

    When the villain in a story executes an underling, that doesn’t suddenly make him a hero.

  6. Margo/Mom says:

    “Unfortunately, they added an approaching airplane.”

    I believe that “approaching airplane” was a bird (an Eagle, I believe) that is the school’s mascot. The buzz here in the midwest on this incident has been considerable, and rather frightening–the implication being something along the lines of since the kids were of Arab descent, the intent of the shirt must be terror related, and numerous corollaries along the lines of why on earth should we ever allow such folks into the country (and those are the nice ones).

  7. I’m always hopeful that enough of these smackdowns against overzealous school administrators will finally cause the lot of them to understand their limits. It’s good to dream.

  8. Allen,

    Can you back up your claim that the ACLU would strike the 2nd if they could, or are you just hysterically parroting right wing talking points?


    Same question. Can you back up your claim? But, you do get bonus points for the “villain” line. I like it. Clever. I’m going to use it! : )

  9. Swede, the ACLU’s official interpretation of the 2nd is that “the people” as defined therein means the government’s officially-constituted militias, such as the National Guard.  (Search for “2nd amendment”, but this seems to put it in a nutshell.)  This is completely different from the way the ACLU interprets “the people” in every other part of the Constitution, and makes it completely redundant in the light of Congress’s power to raise armies and other police powers of government.

  10. Aw, what’s the matter Swede? No love for any of the other parts of the Constitution the ACLU can’t be bothered to notice?

    By the way Swede, if the ACLU’s so intent on “protecting our civil liberties regardless of the political position” why does FIRE find such fertile fields to plow? Seems to me the ACLU ought to be jumping on the abrogations of free speech rights inherent in hate speech codes at public universities. Has the ACLU been pretty active in that area but too modest to publicize their interest, is that it?

    Maybe the ACLU’s heavy schedule of lawsuits against that fearful threat to liberty, the cheesy Christmas creche scene in front of City Hall, just doesn’t leave enough in the way of resources to challenge publicly-funded universities that make indoctrination in particular political viewpoints part of their curriculum. Yeah, that must be it. The ACLU has to prioritize.

    By the way, your selection of the Second Amendment from the smorgasbord of possibilities I rolled out necessitates two further admissions to complete the stereotype you infer: I could stand to lose a few pounds and I unapologetically shop at Walmart.

  11. AsteroidAl says:


    “the ACLU’s official interpretation of the 2nd is that “the people” as defined therein means the government’s officially-constituted militias, such as the National Guard.”

    If you read _The Federalist Papers_, you’ll see that James Madison proposed the Second Amendment so that citizen militias, electing officers from among themselves and reporting to the Governor of their state, would be able to protect their state from the Federal government should the need one day arise. This was intended as a coutnerbalance to the Federal Army.

    These State Militias have evolved into the various State Guards, not the National Guard which now subsumes them.

    In short, Madison wanted the states to be able to protect themselves from a dictatorship, not so a home owner in Mississippi can shoot an Asian man who rings his doorbell.

  12. ExDemocrat says:

    I’m glad the Colorado student got his settlement. I wish he had taken the case all the way to the Supreme Court, but he didn’t. I sincerely hope he wears that ‘nobama’ shirt to school EVERY DAY until it falls apart! Teachers and administrators need to get it into their thick skulls that not everyone is a liberal. I wonder, did they also invite McCain or Palin to the school to give a pre-election speech, or just ol’ long arms?

  13. ExDemocrat says:

    In the interest of full disclosure, I was a teacher until 2005 when I retired. It sure was lonely being a non-liberal in education!

  14. Minor correction here: no one is correctly expressing the ACLU’s stance on the 2nd Amendment.

    That’s because it officially has no stance.

    On that particular part of the Bill Of Rights, the ACLU is “voting present.”


  15. I don’t want to dwell on constitutional analysis, because our view has never been that civil liberties are necessarily coextensive with constitutional rights. Conversely, I guess the fact that something is mentioned in the Constitution doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a fundamental civil liberty.

  16. I used to be a supporter of the ACLU but over time saw that they were drifting far to the left. Back in the 90’s sometime (don’t remember exactly when) there was a case in Berkeley where the city was proposing to put a halfway house in a largely residential area adjacent to a liquor store. The neighborhood already had one halfway house. Some people started to organize meetings to try to get the decision on the second facility rescinded. The feds went after them for violations of federal housing laws. Demanded copies of communications, lists of names of participants in meetings, etc. I contacted ACLU and asked why they were not getting involved in what seemed like a pretty clear cut infringement of 1st Amendment rights (the feds eventually did back off) and got a weasel word answer. That was it for me.

  17. What, only $4000?

  18. bruce wayne says:

    This is WRONG!

    While its nice that the kid got money, it is WRONG that he got MY money and YOUR money.

    Giving away our money did not punish those who wronged the kid.
    Make them pay!
    They got off with no punishment for their actions.

  19. Kirk Parker says:


    Well, if there were another zero tacked on there, and the miscreants were required to pay the judgements from their personal funds, then maybe your dream would have a chance of coming true.

  20. “In short, Madison wanted the states to be able to protect themselves from a dictatorship, not so a home owner in Mississippi can shoot an Asian man who rings his doorbell.”

    Or from a TSA agent who shows up at his door and demands his private property or they’ll destroy his travel business.

  21. AsteroidAl-

    Yet, looking back at history… many of the weapons used by the state militias during the post-Revolutionary period were actually owned by individuals. The Second Amendment guarantees that individuals have the right to bear arms so that when the states need to organize or expand militias they can function.

  22. AsteroidAl
    January 8, 2010 at 5:29 am

    So, so, so, so wrong. Weapons grade ignorance.

    “Who are the Militia? They
    consist now of the whole people.”-George Mason

    When the words “the people” appear in the Bill of Rights, they mean every citizen. The Bill of Rights are a list of individual rights. That’s the whole point of them.

    As for the ACLU, they are an organization founded by Communists. Which doesn’t mean they have not done important work. They have, in the realms of the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment, and especially in the realms of voting rights. They have also done their level best to erase the 2nd Amendment, destroy federalism and remove all checks to federal power. I like my Constitution as it is written. The ACLU is a leftwing organization, advocating contrary to liberty when it suits them. They do not have a neutral stance in favor of the Constitution, they have a stance supporting the bits of the Constitution they like.


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