HILLSBORO, Ore. (CBS Local) – An Oregon high school is making a costly apology after suspending a student for wearing a pro-Donald Trump t-shirt to class.
Liberty High School in Hillsboro has agreed to pay $25,000 to senior Addison Barnes, who school officials suspended for wearing a shirt that read “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” Liberty High banned Barnes from wearing the shirt, which referenced the student’s support of the President’s illegal immigration and Homeland Security policies.
“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,” the 18-year-old told The Oregonian. Barnes sued the school after his January suspension and was granted a temporary restraining order by a judge in May.
The federal judge’s decision barred the high school from enforcing their ban of the student’s t-shirt for the rest of the school year. Barnes graduated in June and the teen’s lawyer announced on July 24 that Liberty High School agreed to settle the matter with an apology.
“Moving forward, we will continue to use professional discretion to meet both objectives and will actively seek ways to turn sensitive situations into learning opportunities,” Principal Greg Timmons wrote in his apology to Barnes. The $25,000 will reportedly help pay for the student’s legal fees.
“I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views,” the high school graduate explained.