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Student Suspended Over Pro-Trump Shirt Gets $25K

As well as an apology from the principal
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2018 12:18 PM CDT
President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after stepping off Marine One at the White House, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – An 18-year-old Oregon student who was forced out of class for refusing to cover up his pro-Trump T-shirt won't end up getting the last word in the matter—which is the outcome he wanted. The last word will go to the principal of Liberty High School in Hillsboro, who agreed to issue a letter of apology as part of a settlement in the case. Addison Barnes sued the school, Principal Greg Timmons, and the Hillsboro School District, accusing them of violating his First Amendment rights. KOIN reports that Barnes initially covered up the "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.'' he wore to school in January, but then decided to reverse course. He was then told to cover it again or go home, and he chose the latter option, which the school recorded as a suspension.

The Oregonian reports a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order two months ago that prevented the school from banning the shirt for the remainder of the school year, with the judge saying the censorship wasn't legally justified. The school had argued the shirt could fuel a "hostile learning environment." The settlement, announced Tuesday, will also see the district pay $25,000 to cover Barnes' legal fees. Willamette Week has a statement from Barnes, who has since graduated from the school: "Everyone knows that if a student wears an anti-Trump shirt to school, the teachers won't think twice about it. But when I wore a pro-Trump shirt, I got suspended. That's not right." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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