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.
. . . Benson was also given a one-day suspension by principal Jim Jelinek. In his notice of suspension, Jelinek stated the reason was that “Blake was directed to cease politically protesting on school grounds,” said the ACLU.
When the ACLU stepped in to defend Benson’s free speech rights, criminal charges were dropped.
Detroit-area students with an “offensive” T-shirt evoking the 9-11 attack will be counseled, not threatened with suspension. Though all the students are Arab-American, their aim seemed to be honoring the class of ’11 with twin towers spelling out “11” and the motto “You can’t bring us down.” Unfortunately, they added an approaching airplane.