HILLSBORO, Ore. — A teenager has filed a lawsuit claiming school officials infringed on his constitutional rights by asking him to either leave class or cover up his T-shirt, which promoted building the border wall.
The T-shirt worn by Addison Barnes reads: “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co. – The Wall Just Got 10 Feet Taller.”
Barnes wore the T-shirt earlier this year in a People and Politics class at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. He was taken out of his classroom by the school’s assistant principal, who told him his shirt offended at least one student and the teacher.
The boy was given a choice — either cover the shirt, or leave the school. He briefly covered the shirt and went back to class, but then, believing his First Amendment rights were being violated, uncovered the shirt.
The school’s assistant principal then sent a security guard to remove Barnes from class. His absence was counted as a suspension.
He filed a lawsuit this week against Liberty High School, the Hillsboro School District and Principal Greg Timmons.
“Through his shirt, Barnes sought to convey his views on a national debate about a serious political and societal issue. It was pure political speech, which, “of course, is ‘at the core of what the First Amendment is designed to protect,” the lawsuit reads.