The parents of a student in California’s San Ramon Valley Unified School District are suing the district for discriminating against their son for a video he made as part of a school election campaign in which he pretends to save his fellow students from radical Islamic terrorists.
“No child should be bullied the way our son has been bullied,” David and Leilanie Yu wrote in a Go Fund Me campaign for legal expenses.
The student was removed from his leadership position after he won an election for student body president. School officials allegedly questioned him for hours.
According to the East Bay Times, “[S]chool officials disqualified the junior from participating in student leadership, including his run as associate student body president. He then filed a petition with the state court against the school district in protest.”
A judge reportedly ruled in favor of the school district. However, according to the East Bay Times, the school board decided to reinstate the student’s leadership roles, meaning he will serve as student body president starting this fall.
According to the Go Fund Me page, Yu’s parents said their son was held captive for three hours and he as interrogated during his lunch break without food or water. They noted that “One of the assistant principals had the audacity to even eat her lunch in front of him.”
In just six days, the Yus have raised over $27,000 — surpassing their $25,000 goal.
Parent Karen Pearce told San Francisco Bay Area ABC News affiliate ABC 7 that she believes a “caring” environment supercedes the law. “While I would never deny anybody first amendment rights, I think in this case there may have been a situation where one child’s first amendment rights are superseding the school’s right to maintain that caring and respectful environment,” she said.
According to the East Bay Times, Superintendent Rick Schmitt said: “Schools are in the difficult position of balancing student free speech rights with the need to foster an educational environment and assure that participants in student government elections learn the lessons that leadership is designed to teach.”