Suit: District wrong to punish students over racist posts?
SALINE, Mich., Feb. 12, 2020 (AP): Four students in Saline sued
their school district over discipline they received in the wake
of racist social media posts directed at black students.
The federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday against Saline Area Schools,
alleged district officials lacked authority to suspend the
students over the posts, which led to a school meeting when a
white parent asked a Latino parent why he didn't ``stay in
Mexico.'' Last week, people rallied in the community about 40
miles (60 kilometers) southwest of Detroit to promote unity and
inclusion holding signs whose messages included ``Racism Not
The white students, who were not identified, were among those
added to a private group on Snapchat, according to the lawsuit.
Many of the students in the group, who were both white and
black, were using what the lawsuit called ``offensive terms like
the `N' word”—language it states was ``inappropriate`` and
``immature,'' yet shared ``between friends and in a joking
Following that, the lawsuit added, school officials ``made a
grossly negligent decision to verbally suspend all the Plaintiff
children and barred them attending Saline High School
indefinitely.'' The suit seeks damages and injunctions
reinstating the youths, two of whom have returned to class, as
well as having their names cleared.
Scot Graden, Saline schools' superintendent, told The Associated
Press via email that the district can't comment on pending
litigation. He said in a statement on Feb. 4 that ``hate,
prejudice and racism have no place in our schools or our
community,'' and the district has been working ``to ensure a
welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all students and