Liberty High School senior Addison Barnes,18, was suspended earlier this year after he refused to cover up his “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” shirt.
The Oregon high school student sued his school district after the administrators said he couldn’t wear a pro-Trump border wall T-shirt and will be given a formal written apology and $25,000 in a settlement.
The shirt which features a 2016 Trump quote: “The wall just got 10 feet taller.” was worn by Addison in his “People and Politics” class on a day where the class discussed immigration.
Barnes sued his school, the Hillsboro School District, and Principal Greg Timmons who violated his First Amendment rights.
Barnes’ lawyers on Tuesday announced they had reached a settlement with the district.
Principal Greg Timmons will write a letter of apology to Addison, and the district will pay $25,000 to the 18-year-old to cover his legal fees.
Barnes said in a statement that the reason he brought the case was “to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views.”
Timmons also released a statement after the settlement:
As an educational institution, Hillsboro School District and each of our schools supports, encourages, and celebrates free speech and reasoned debate. We also have a responsibility to ensure that each of our students feels welcome and safe in our schools so they can effectively learn. This was an instance where we were challenged to do both simultaneously and the decision landed on the side of ensuring student safety. Moving forward, we will continue to use professional discretion to meet both objectives and will actively seek ways to turn sensitive situations into learning opportunities.