Young conservatives club banned after posting video of classmates protesting the anthem
Members of the Young Conservatives Club at Edina High School in Minnesota have been banned after posting a video to a social media site showing some of their fellow classmates protesting the anthem during a Veterans Day assembly.
The kids complained to their school principal when they received threats from a far left Antifa-sympathizing group for posting the video. Instead of going after the lefties for their threats, the principal banned the conservative club for "intolerance" and racism. The students are now suing the school district for violating their First Amendment rights.
School officials decided to ban the group after club members posted video of students protesting at the assembly on the social media app GroupMe, according to the lawsuit. Some of the comments to the GroupMe posting included disparaging and racist remarks about the protesters. The conservative students noted in their lawsuit that people who were not members of their club had access to their GroupMe posting and the ability to comment on it.
Someone else, using the handle Edina High School Anti-Fascists and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, posted an image of the GroupMe posting on a since-deleted YouTube video and threatened the members of the Young Conservatives Club, the plaintiffs allege.
The club’s president, Nick Spades, complained to Edina High School principal Andrew Beaton about the threatening YouTube message. He said the principal demanded he show him the GroupMe posting, and after viewing it told him that the posting of the protesters — as well as the disparaging comments — violated the school’s policies.
Spade said the principal then demanded he not only delete the GroupMe site, but also disband the Young Conservatives Club or face discipline for being in violation of an unspecified policy.
“Our club was disbanded ... because we were accused of being intolerant of student protesters during a Veterans Day assembly at our school,” Spades said. “This complete lack of respect, and the fact that school administration did nothing about it, is one of the reasons that we’re here today.”
The school district claims that it "respects and adheres to state statute and federal law in regard to the free speech rights of all students and staff." They certainly have a limited view of the First Amendment, don't they?
The bottom line is that simply posting a video of student protesters and being critical of them does not constitute "intolerance" in any way and if there were racist comments on the GroupMe site, there is no way to tell if the comments originated with club members. The "intolerance" from this incident originates with the arbitrary decisions made by the school principal, backed up by the school board, who apparently can brook no opposition to political correctness.