Hononegah student sues school over free speech

The father of a student at Hononegah High School in Rockton, Illinois, has filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming one his daughter’s behalf that she was not allowed to express her views in favor of gun ownership in March, following a shooting at a Florida high school and nationwide protests for stricter gun control.

Jeremy Oster, whose daughter Madison is the plaintiff in the lawsuit, says she “has sincerely-held beliefs regarding the individual right of the Second Amendment, firearms policies in general, and about the optimal way to protect schools in the event of a violent attack,” according to the complaint.

“The organizers and promoters of the walkout were also promoting federal gun control legislation, as well as the election of political candidates that supported gun control legislation,” the complaint continues. “Madison strongly disagreed with these political views.”

As a result of her beliefs, Mr Oster maintains, school officials discriminated “against certain viewpoints regarding the Second Amendment generally, and against certain beliefs regarding the safety of schoolchildren from random violent attack during school hours.”

Madison says she ended up staying home from school for a week because she felt mistreated at Hononegah. “Madison left HCHS early that day,” her father wrote in the lawsuit, “feeling bullied and ostracized, and firmly convinced that HCHS does not value her or other students who share her beliefs.”

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Paul Katula
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