ACLU Says Suspensions Reversed for Two Shaker Heights High School Students Who Exposed Racist Comments

Update: The ACLU says the punishment dished out to two Shaker Heights High School girls who reposted another student's racist comments on Snapchat. The school initially suspended the girls for "disruptive behavior."

The ACLU quickly got involved, rightly pointing out that the comments were posted outside of school and were covered by the First Amendment.

Via Cleveland 19:

The ACLU had asked school officials to cancel a one-day, in-school suspension Tuesday for one of the girls. ACLU staff attorney Elizabeth Bonham says that the district did so.

The district wouldn't comment on student discipline. The other teen already had served her suspension last week.


(Original story 11/14/16): In an illuminating move last week, Shaker Heights High School top brass decided to suspend two students who had a hand in exposing another student's racist comments in the wake of the presidential election.

Fox 8 has the play-by-play, which involves Snapchat and Twitter screenshots, but here's the gist: One student posted online that she did not support black rights, "because they don't work for it and as a culture scary, violent, rude and needy. They expect to be catered to."

The two students who publicly shared those comments — Elena Weingard and Myahh Husamadeen — were suspended by the school district for "disruptive behavior." The student who originally posted those comments has not been disciplined.

According to a text from a Shaker Heights teacher sent to Scene, "Parents were screaming at each other. The white girl is fearing for her life" (referring to the student who first posted the prejudiced messages). The teacher added that students have been heard harassing others at school, citing at least one student "being called a fag and a n lover."

On Friday, students participated in a walkout — "partly in reaction to the presidential election, but also in protest of disciplinary action against two students," according to The Shakerite. Students walked through the halls, chanting "Fuck Donald Trump" and "We need justice."

Ahead of the planned protest, the district posted this message: "We have been made aware that some students may be planning a walkout at noon to express dissatisfaction with a student issue. However, we want you to know the student issue has been resolved with all parties. The law doesn't allow us to discuss student issues with the public."

The Shakerite shared students' reactions following the week's events: “I was shocked and disturbed by the texts but even more by the school’s reaction,” said junior Molly Amolsch. “The student body, myself included, wanted justice, but the school seemed to want to shut down the outspoken students. It was wrong that they were disciplined and [the student who made the comments] wasn’t. Elena and Myyah have the support of their peers, even if the school doesn’t want to support their own teachings.”