Morgan Earnest Lewinstown Pennsylvania high student sues school district after being suspended over MAGA shirt & mask claiming violation of civil rights.
A 15-year-old Pennsylvania high school student is suing her local school district after she was suspended for wearing clothing showing her support for Donald Trump, claiming that the punishment violated her civil rights.
Morgan Earnest, a 15-year-old sophomore student at Mifflin County High School in Lewistown, claims an Oct. 1 policy put into place by administrators barring political speech on face masks or other articles of clothing is unconstitutional and infringes on her rights of free speech and due process of law, PennLive.com reports.
Earnest decided to challenge the rules on Oct. 12 by wearing a ‘Women for Trump’ mask and a ‘Trump 2020 Keep America Great’ T-shirt, according to the suit recently filed in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The teen’s political display caught the attention of school administrators, who demanded that she flip the mask and shirt inside-out for the rest of the day. She was suspended and sent home when she refused, the filing claims.
‘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.
Disruption to class?
The district’s policy also barred articles of clothing that depicted Confederate flags, swastikas and Black Lives Matter logos or phrases associated with the social movement, according to Earnest’s suit, which cited the guidelines.
‘This action is being taken due to complaints that have been received about such items and how those items have disrupted the education of students within the Mifflin County School District,’ the policy stated.
Earnest claims she wore the Trump gear to school on two prior occasions this year without incident. She’s seeking unspecified damages, as well as a judge to nullify her suspension and prohibit district officials from enforcing the policy.
Mifflin County School District Superintendent Jim Estep has since responded, saying that Earnest’s suit is without merit.
‘We strongly disagree with the allegations in the complaint, including the veracity of those allegations,’ Estep told via the nypost.
Adding, ‘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. The decision was made after careful consultation with our solicitor and additional special legal counsel.’