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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

‘We Don’t Promote That Here’: Kentucky School Administrators Force Students to Remove LGBTQ-Pride Tee Shirts

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Student Says Principal Outed Several LGBTQ Students to Their Parents

Administrators at a Kentucky high school reportedly forced several students to remove LGBTQ-affirming tee shirts,. The students say they were told “we don’t promote that here,” referring to being LGBTQ, and that the shirts were a “disruption.”

Administrators at Martin County High School reportedly claimed the tee shirts violate the school’s dress code, which says: “Clothing must be appropriate for school and must not interfere with the educational process.”

The tee shirts said “Queen Queer” and “Lady Lesbian,” according to Yahoo News.

The school administrators might have violated the students’ free speech, based on other similar cases (below).

The students are accusing the administration of refusing to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), suggesting that words like “lesbian” or “queer” when used in a positive manner are “disruptive” and could put students in danger, and saying that school is not a place they can or should be open about who they are – while allowing students to flaunt their support of the Confederate flag or President Trump.

“The administrators stated to us that [students] were forced to change because [administrators] were ‘worried for the dangers of the students, and did not want to hear of any students coming back saying they were being bullied,” one of the students told Yahoo News. They added that the administrators said “That school was not a place for children to express their sexual orientation.”

Rather than working to protect free speech – an important lesson for all school students – the LGBTQ students were discriminated against, victimized, and might have had their civil rights violated by the school administrators.

“It was basically just [the principal] saying that we don’t need to advertise our orientations on a big billboard because that puts a target on us for bullying,” one of the students, Jessica, added. “She also said we didn’t need a [Gay-Straight Alliance because we already know who our friends are that support us.”

“We want the administration to really treat others equally because we want the ability to express our identities just like the students who wear Trump apparel, religious apparel or the Confederate flag. I know we are in a rural, Christian-Republican community, but we want tolerance. Our shirts aren’t hurting anyone. It’s unfair that because the staff have certain beliefs, they treat students differently and scare them into not speaking out,” Jessica also said. “We just want justice.”

Yahoo News adds that “Jessica even alleged that the principal outed some LGBTQ students to their parents when calling to warn about a possible walkout which never took place.”

The school appears to be ripe for an intervention from civil rights groups.

In 2016 The ACLU sued a Tennessee school district that had banned a student from wearing a tee shirt that said: “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.” The ACLU won.

In a detailed look at pro-LGBTQ tees cases, including the 2016 Tennessee case, the Southern Poverty Law Center adds: “First and most importantly, a school cannot manufacture its own ‘disruption’ by overreacting to speech.”

The SPLC also offers more examples, including this one:

“In 2008, a Florida judge struck down a Pensacola-area school’s ban on logos including rainbows, pink triangles and the words ‘gay pride’ or ‘GP,’ which students began wearing in defense of a classmate bullied for being a lesbian.”

Here’s a video report from about the Martin County school administrators decision to ban the speech of several LGBTQ students, from WYMT:

 

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Bill Barr Should Lose Law License Over Devin Nunes Scandal: Impeachment Lawyer

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Legal experts sounded the alarm after a bombshell court filing was unsealed showing the Department of Justice under Bill Barr attempted to use a secret grand jury subpoena to learn the identity of a parody account on Twitter that is critical of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

“The Justice Department under President Trump secretly obtained a grand-jury subpoena last year in an attempt to identify the person behind a Twitter account dedicated to mocking Representative Devin Nunes of California, according to a newly unsealed court document. But Twitter fought the subpoena, as well as an associated gag order barring the company from talking about it publicly. Twitter executives raised skepticism about whether the Justice Department might be abusing federal criminal law-enforcement power to retaliate against a critic of Mr. Nunes, a Republican who is a close ally of Mr. Trump, in violation of the First Amendment,” The New York Times reportedMonday.

The subpoena was withdrawn after Biden took office, but the new documents show Twitter blasting the subpoena.

“It appears to Twitter that the Subpoena may be related to Congressman Devin Nunes’s repeated efforts to unmask individuals behind parody accounts critical of him. His efforts to suppress critical speech are as well-publicized as they are unsuccessful,” Twitter wrote in a motion opposing the unmasking of the author. “Given Congressman Nunes’s numerous attempts to unmask his anonymous critics on Twitter—described in detail herein—Twitter is concerned that this Subpoena is but another mechanism to attack its users’ First Amendment rights.”

“Over the past two years, Congressman Nunes and his campaign committee have brought at least nine lawsuits—including in this district—against individuals, the media, and one research and intelligence firm for either their disagreement with his political actions and policies, publishing statements that Congressmen Nunes deemed critical of himself, or hosting critical statements with which Congressman Nunes disagreed,” the social media company argued.

The account in question said it was about “silencing” critics.

Legal experts blasted Barr’s DOJ for the subpoena. Former Southern District of New York Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli called for an investigation of the Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) who signed subpoena.

Michael Friedman may not be the only attorney facing investigations over the subpoena.

Former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, who served as the majority counsel in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, said Barr should lose his license to practice law.

 

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Watch: Trump Threatens to ‘Put Down Very Quickly’ Democrats Who Take to the Streets in Protest if He Wins Re-Election

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President Donald Trump promises to “put down” Democrats who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest in the streets if he wins re-election.

“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that, if we want,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a taped interview that will air Saturday, as Politico reports.

“Look, it’s called insurrection,” the president added. “We just send in, and we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes.”

For months Trump has been deploying into American cities paramilitary SWAT teams of federal secret police with no insignias or name badges, armed with assault weapons, who have been tear gassing U.S. citizens protesting police killings of unarmed Black people.

Included among these highly-armed elite tactical agents are members of the U.S. Border Patrol’s BORTAC unit who receive “enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification,” The New York Times has reported. These “officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.”

Watch the president:

 

 

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FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Claiming ‘Radical Left Indoctrination’ Trump Threatens Tax-Exempt Status of Schools and Universities After Two Sue Him

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Barely days after at least two top universities announced they are suing him, President Donald Trump on Friday attacked America’s universities and school systems and threatened to revoke their tax-exempt status.

Claiming they are engaging in “Radical Left Indoctrination,” “Propaganda,” and “Act[ing] Against Public Policy,” Trump claimed he would order the Treasury Dept. to “re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status.”

This week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two venerable institutions of higher learning, announced they are suing the administration after Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced students legally in the U.S. on student visas will be deported if their classes go online and they do not switch to schools that require in-person classroom learning.

Trump’s threat is a transparent attempt to force all schools across the nation to re-open in the fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday the president claimed “they” don’t want to let schools re-open, which he called an attempt to hurt his re-election chances.

“We have to get our schools open, and stop this political nonsense,” Trump insisted. “And it’s only political nonsense.”

While it’s unlikely Trump can actually revoke their tax-exempt status, both schools, and many others, are awarded government contracts for research, which could be pulled, as the Trump administration has done in the past.

Ethics expert Walter Shaub responded by calling Trump a “would-be dictator” who “wants to withhold funding based on the content of speech. So much for the Constitution.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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