Addison Barnes enjoys getting into fights. So, he went to school with a shirt that was sure to make people angry. The senior at Liberty High School chose to wear to school a T-shirt that said “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” This was a reference to the border wall that former President Trump tried to build during his one time in office.
But Barnes’s school didn’t like the shirt, so they told him to cover up or go home and change. He didn’t, so they made him miss school for the day.
Barnes has since hired a team of lawyers with the help of his parents to fight the school’s decision. He did this by filing a case against the school.
The lawsuit says that a school official talked to Barnes about his shirt after at least one student and one teacher complained about it. The school told him to put something over the T-shirt or go home and get something better for school.
Barnes took the “suspension” and went back home. Even though his absence was first put on his lasting record as a punishment, the school later took that off.
Barnes chose to sue his school to teach them not to mess with someone who supports Trump.
Barnes said in a statement released by his lawyers, “I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views.”
Barnes won his case in court, but he didn’t get any money. Instead, the school district reached a deal with the high school senior’s lawyers. The school district chose to pay Barnes’s lawyer fees of $25,000 and have the director write an official letter to the student apologizing for telling him to cover his shirt.
One-third of the students at Barnes’ school are Hispanic, so the Trump shirt was especially insulting there. During his single time in office, Trump’s attempts to stop immigration were highly criticized and led to the deportation of many people from the families of students.
The school district said, “The Liberty High School administration thought it was likely that Mr. Barnes’ shirt would make other students feel unsafe, which could lead to walkouts, fights, or other disruptive actions.” “[School administrators] did what they did for the safety of the students out of an abundance of caution.”
But Barnes thinks that his win makes the first amendment even stronger.
He said, “Everyone knows that teachers won’t care if a kid wears an anti-Trump shirt to school. But I got in trouble when I wore a shirt that supported Trump. “That’s wrong.”
One of Barnes’ lawyers, Brad Benbrook, said in a statement, “Addison Barnes should be praised for his courage. The point of this case wasn’t the word on his shirt. We told the thought police about the case. What is going on in too many schools today is not allowed by the First Amendment.”
What are your thoughts on this choice?