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Student sues school officials in FPC-backed lawsuit to protect pro-Second Amendment speech


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LANSING, Mich. (May 13, 2022) – Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) today announced a new FPC-supported federal lawsuit against the superintendent of Durand (Michigan) Area Schools, the principal of Robert Kerr Elementary School, and a Robert Kerr school staff member for violating a third-grader’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they prevented her from wearing a hat bearing the text “Come and Take It” as well as an image of an AR-15 rifle to the school’s “hat day.” The complaint for C.S. v. McCrumb can be found at FPCLaw.org.

“The Supreme Court ruled 50 years ago that schoolchildren do not shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said the student’s attorney, John R. Monroe.  “That is still the law, and schools that teach our children civics and government should recognize that.”

The student, through her father, seeks a declaration that wearing the hat in question is constitutionally protected speech, a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the school officials from restricting her speech and preventing her from wearing the hat, and nominal damages. 

“Public schools may not violate the rights of pro-Second Amendment students because they don’t like guns or people who support the fundamental, individual human right to armed self-defense,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “We look forward to reminding these anti-rights authoritarian school defendants that the Constitution applies in public schools.”

Defending and restoring the right to speak in favor of other rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, has been a key part of FPC’s legal and research programs throughout the organization’s history. For example, FPC has previously engaged to protect other students’ speech against similarly unconstitutional speech restrictions, such as in the case of Guardanapo v. Washoe County [Nevada] School District. Based on input from attorneys and legal scholars, including UCLA law professor and First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, FPC also publishes a helpful guide for parents and students, “K-12 Schools, Free Speech, And The Fundamental, Individual Right To Keep And Bear Arms: A Guide to How Students Can Use Their First Amendment Rights to Defend and Promote Second Amendment Rights,” that explains public school students’ free speech rights, provides answers to common and important questions, and even provides sample letters parents can send to schools to protect the rights of their children.

If a student (or parent of a student) believes they were discriminated against or disciplined for peacefully expressing their pro-Second Amendment views or not participating in some anti-rights event or speech, and would like to share your experience with us, or to report a possible civil rights violation, please feel free to email our FPC Legal Action Hotline at hotline@fpchq.org or call our toll-free Legal Action Hotline at (855) 252-4510.

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