A Pennsylvania high school student who claims she was suspended for wearing clothing supportive of President Donald Trump is suing her school district in federal court.
The 15-year-old student, Morgan Earnest, who attends Mifflin County High School in Lewistown, claimed an October 1 policy administrators established barring political speech on masks and other articles of clothing violated her rights to free speech and due process of law under the Constitution, Penn Live reported.
Earnest wore a “Trump 2020 Keep America Great” t-shirt, and a “Women for Trump” mask on October 12 when administrators told her to flip the shirt and the mask inside-out or face repercussions, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
When Earnest refused, administrators suspended her from school and sent her home, according to the lawsuit.
“The district’s representatives further communicated that she would be sent home if she ever wore a mask or T-shirt expressing a political viewpoint again,” the lawsuit states.
The district’s policy also banned clothing depicting Confederate flags, Black Lives Matter logos, and swastikas.
Earnest claimed she wore the pro-Trump clothing to school without incident on two separate occasions this year.
Penn Live reported that Earnest is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, a judge ruling to revoke her suspension, and a statute that prohibits school administrators from enforcing the policy.
Mifflin County School District Superintendent Jim Estep disagreed with Earnest’s claims mentioned in the lawsuit.
“We strongly disagree with the allegations in the complaint, including the veracity of those allegations,” Estep told the New York Post. “We stand by our decision, which was made in the interest of safety and to ensure students’ educational environment would not continue to be disrupted.”
In another case where an Oregon high school student was disciplined for wearing a pro-Trump t-shirt, he also sued his school district but wound up settling with his school, the Associated Press reported.
Under the settlement, his school district had to pay $25,000 in attorney’s fees and the principal had to write an apology to the student.