Student Wins an Apology, $25,000 from School for Banning His Trump Shirt


A student at Liberty High School in Hillsboro has settled a lawsuit. The Principal agreed to apologize to the student who was told to go home or cover up his “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.” shirt last January. The school district is also paying out $25,000 to the student to pay for his lawyer.


Addison Barnes, who has since graduated, was suspended for wearing the shirt backing Trump’s border wall. After the suspension, he sued the school, the Principal, and the district.

In late May, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order,  barring the school for the remainder of the school year from enforcing its earlier decision banning the shirt.

This past Tuesday, the Principal Greg Timmons agreed to write a letter of apology and the district will pay $25,000 for Barnes’ attorney fees.

“I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views,” Barnes said in a statement. “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.”

His lawyers said they wanted to make the point that students have the right to express their political views.

“We brought the case to police the thought police,” attorney Brad Benbrook said.

The school district has a one-third Hispanic population and the officials were afraid the shirt would raise racial tensions. The judge said none of the evidence offered rose to the level of disrupting the school.

It was a ruling in support of the First Amendment.

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