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Lawsuit Alleges Kansas School District Violated Students' Free S - KOAM TV 7

Lawsuit Alleges Kansas School District Violated Students' Free Speech Rights

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     A lawsuit accuses a Kansas school district of violating students' free speech rights during a nationwide protest of gun violence.
    The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed the suit Thursday against the Shawnee Mission School District.      
    Some students participated in a nationwide walkout protesting gun violence in April. High school students said they were given a script for their 17-minute walkout and that an associate principal took cameras away from student journalists. At the middle school, students complained their event was cut short because officials had not approved language about gun control or gun violence.
    The ACLU sent the district a letter a week after the student-led protests claiming, in part, that the district censored the students, telling them they could not mention school shootings or gun violence in the speeches during a protest intended to address those very things.
    The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit violation of students' rights.
    A spokeswoman says the district continues working to ensure that students remain safe and secure, and that their free speech rights are respected.

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