Fort Lauderdale, FL asked in Education Law, Civil Rights, Juvenile Law and Libel & Slander for Kentucky

Q: Guy got expelled from my high school for expressing his opinions in a paper; the school took it as a threat. Thoughts?

I knew of this kid, but didn't know him that well. He was a senior, Class of 2018, well mannered, and made good grades. To my knowledge, he had no history of threatening or bullying. He was a class clown, and was involved in the Drama Club, and other school activities. Following the Parkland shooting, he wrote a paper on school safety and how it was flawed. It was not written for an assignment, but as a personal piece, expressing his views to the school. The controversy came when he discussed school shooting protocol and armed adults. I asked to read the paper, but he said his lawyers don't want him to release it yet, but he would let me as soon as he could. I can understand if he said something like, "I could walk into this school with a gun and no one would know I had it," how the school could see that as a threat, but I disagree in the level of punishment the school is going to. Now he's suing them! I'm curious of your thoughts. I gave as much info as I can. Thanks. I'm in KY not FL

1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Juvenile Law Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY
  • Licensed in Kentucky

A: We really need to see the contents of the paper to determine whether a threat was made or even intended. Obviously if he’s suing them, his lawyers think he’s on pretty solid ground. Publish the article he wrote when he gives you permission and a much clearer discussion can be had.

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