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Wed October 17, 2012
Bloggers' School Suspension Upheld By Federal Appellate Court
Twin brothers suspended earlier this year from Missouri’s Lees Summit North High School for disruptions allegedly caused by a website they created have lost an appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case leaves new ground to be plowed by a Kansas City U. S. District Court judge.
Court pleadings show high school juniors Steven and Scott Wilson said their blog was to discuss, satirize and vent about events at the school. There were complaints of offensive and racist comments and degrading remarks about female students. Lawyers for the boys argued there was a constitutional right to expression at heart of the dispute.
Teachers testified it caused one of the most disruptive days of their teaching careers.
The panel of 8th circuit judges sent the case back to federal judge Howard Sachs to resolve, saying there was no case to countermand the six-month suspensions.
Kevin Weakley is a lawyer for the Wilsons and reacted to the ruling.
“The family is obviously disappointed with the court’s decision and at this point we are evaluating our options with regard to an appeal of this decision," he said.
There is a 14-day window to ask for a hearing before the full appeals court bench. There is no word whether the boys will be allowed back to school.
The school district’s communications director referred all comments to the district’s lead attorney in the case. The attorney did not return a request for interview.