Addison Barnes, a senior at an Oregon high school, is suing the school district after he was sent home from school for wearing a t-shirt lauding President Donald Trump’s border wall.
NBC News-affiliate KATU reported that in January, Barnes wore a shirt bearing the fake company, “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Company,” and quoted the president who said, “The wall just got 10 feet taller.”
An assistant principal reportedly pulled him out of class in the morning and asked him to cover up the shirt because it offended some students and teachers.
While he initially complied with the assistant principal’s request, he later uncovered the shirt and was once again pulled out of class. Given the option to cover the shirt or be sent home, Barnes opted to be sent home.
“I had a teacher who had a pro-sanctuary city poster in her room which was up all year,” Barnes told NBC News-affiliate KGW. “Yet as I wear a pro-border wall shirt I get silenced and suspended for wearing that.”
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While the school has a policy preventing students from wearing clothes with “disruptive phrases” his attorney, Mike McLane, said his shirt was “far from being disruptive.”
On May 18, Barnes filed a lawsuit against the school district and the principal for violating his First Amendment right.
Mat dos Santos, legal director of the ACLU of Oregon, said in a statement to KATU that the “shirt is mean-spirited” but sided with Barnes that the school “clearly crossed a line” in making him remove the shirt.
“It is disappointing that Liberty High School decided to censor the student instead of inviting the student body to discuss immigration, the freedom of speech, and the impacts of xenophobic rhetoric,” he added.
A spokesperson for the school told KGW that they were reviewing the suit but declined to comment.
“If somebody else disagrees with me politically, I think they should be able to express their viewpoints just as I should be able to express my viewpoints in school,” Barnes told Fox 12.