Oregon Student Sues School for Banning His Trump Border Wall T-Shirt

Addison Barnes, 18, a high school student from Oregon, is suing his school for banning him from wearing a pro-Donald Trump T-shirt in class.
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A high school student in Oregon is suing his school for banning him from wearing a pro-Donald Trump T-shirt in class.

Addison Barnes, 18, was told by administrators of Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, that he could not wear a T-shirt emblazoned with “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” The shirt also featured a 2016 Trump quote: “The wall just got 10 feet taller,” Fox Insider reported.

Barnes wore the shirt to his People and Politics class on the day the class was to engage in a discussion on immigration.

The student appeared on Fox & Friends First and said the punishment was curious because his teacher had a poster advocating for sanctuary policies hanging in the classroom all year and yet faced no questions from school officials.

The student was told to cover his shirt, but after initially complying, he changed his mind.

“At first, I covered it for a few minutes. Then I thought to myself, this isn’t right. This goes against the First Amendment and my beliefs, so I took the jacket off,” Barnes said, adding that not long afterward, a security officer came to escort him out of the school.

The school’s student handbook includes a rule that “only appropriate sayings or pictures are acceptable” on students’ clothes but does not delineate what is “acceptable,” the Statesman Journal reported.

The school has not issued any statement about the lawsuit, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon told KGW that it supports the student even though it does not like the shirt.

“The school clearly crossed the line when it required a student to remove a T-shirt that voiced support for Donald Trump’s border wall or face a suspension,” ACLU of Oregon’s legal director Mat dos Santos told the TV station. “This shirt is mean-spirited, but it isn’t a ‘disturbance’ under First Amendment case law.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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