Addison Barnes, an 18-year-old high school student, wins a $25,000 settlement in a case against his school after they suspended him for wearing a Pro-Trump shirt. 

Liberty High School, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, issued Barnes to go home or cover up his t-shirt. Barnes’ shirt has a logo saying “Border Wall Construction” and “The wall just got ten feet taller.” This political statement refers to President Trump’s border control policies and the wall he wants to create between America and Mexico. 

Barnes said, 

I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views. 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.” 

According to the school officials, about one-third of their school population consists of Latinos. Since the Trump administration took office, the debate between immigration tensed. ICE deported illegal residents, including some of the students’ relatives, back to their country. The district gave the statement, 

Liberty High School administration could reasonably forecast that Mr. Barnes’ shirt might cause other students to feel unsafe and could potentially lead to walkouts, altercations or other disruptive actions.”


Their statement did not justify their action, according to U.S District Michael W. Mosman. Barnes reached a settlement that includes $25,000 and an apology from the school. Mike McClane, one of Barnes’ lawyers, noted that this was a classic First Amendment case. He says, 

Political speech, whether popular or not, is protected by the Constitution. High school students have the right to express political views subject to restrictions that must be equally applied to all students. This case reinforced that proposition.”

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