RENO — A Northern Nevada school district has reversed a high school student’s suspension imposed after a Republican congressman’s office complained to administrators about a vulgar call from the teenager.
The Washoe County School District’s superintendent said Friday that students have a First Amendment right to express themselves and be politically engaged.
The American Civil Liberties Union intervened on behalf of McQueen High School student Noah Christiansen, who called the office of U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei earlier this month as part of a nationwide protest against gun violence. During the call, the teenager made “offensive, disrespectful and vulgar comments” to demand that Congress act on gun control legislation, according to the congressional staffer who took the call.
The teenager acknowledged afterward he could have used better language during the call, but stated that it’s his right to use the words he wants.
The Washoe schools district attorney Neil Rombardo defended the school’s actions in a letter to the ACLU but said the matter was not worth fighting in court.