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Lawsuit: Expelled Arkansas student’s free speech violated

May 17, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal lawsuit says a northwest Arkansas school district violated a student’s right to free speech when expelling him for posting a photo of himself on social media holding a firearm.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that attorneys filed the lawsuit late last month on behalf of Jessica McKinney, the student’s mother. The lawsuit identifies the student only as “K.P.”

The lawsuit alleges the Huntsville High School junior posted an Instagram photo of himself wearing a trench coat and holding an assault rifle. The photo came 10 days after the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Huntsville School District’s board expelled the student in March, saying students couldn’t use threat, intimidation or fear to disrupt any school mission.

The lawsuit alleges the principal falsely accused K.P. of “criminal and terroristic conduct toward a school community.”

The district declined to comment.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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