A white Connecticut teen has been arrested for a racist social media post about a Black classmate, a move supporters of civil rights are applauding. However, some free speech proponents, including the ACLU, have questioned the move as a potential infringement of the boy's First Amendment rights. Per the AP, the 16-year-old student in a classroom at Fairfield Warde High School allegedly took a photo of Jamar Medor, 16, and posted it on Snapchat on May 7 with a caption that included a racial slur and racist comments. According to Medor's mother, the post went so far as to ask "Why is he not in chains?" per CNN. The white teen, who is a juvenile and has not been named, was charged with breach of peace and with "ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race," per the Hartford Courant.
That second charge is what has some experts worried. The misdemeanor dating back to 1917 has been called an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights by the ACLU of Connecticut and some law school professors. While it is common for students to be disciplined by school officials for such comments, it is unusual for students to be arrested for what they say on social media if it does not involve threats, incitement or a pattern of harassment. Despite the boy's arrest, Medor's mother says the family continues to feel unsafe. She told CNN that one week after the initial incident, her younger son received a FaceTime call in which the caller called him the N-word before hanging up and that the incidents have her considering installing a security system in their home.
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