Kansas ACLU’s Free Speech Lawsuit Proceeds Against District

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A months-long dispute between a Kansas City school district and students alleging free speech violations has escalated into a court battle involving the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU of Kansas asked the court this week to allow its lawsuit to proceed against the Shawnee Mission School District. The response comes after the district filed a motion last month asking to dismiss the federal lawsuit filed in May.

The dispute began April 20 when students alleged district officials stopped their participation in a nationwide walkout protesting gun violence. The lawsuit accuses the district of suppressing students’ political speech on campus “merely to avoid controversy.”

District officials say they’ll continue to work to ensure staff members respect students’ First Amendment rights.