Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Law Center Notes

Civil Rights

Blogging student leader
sues Connecticut school district

School refused to let class secretary
run for fourth term after blog entry

July 24, 2007

CONNECTICUT — A rising senior at Lewis S. Mills High School who was removed from her student government post for comments she made on her blog sued the school district July 16, claiming her First Amendment rights were violated.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction ordering the school to allow the student, Avery Doninger, to deliver her campaign speech, participate in a new election and serve if she wins, according to Avery's mother, Lauren Doninger.

Furious that the school had canceled a concert she and other students had been planning for months, Avery logged on to, an online diary community she had joined years earlier but had not updated in months, from her home computer on the night of April 24.

"I just kind of vented, and I said 'Jamfest is canceled due to the douche bags in central office,'" Avery said in a phone interview.

When the principal, Karissa Niehoff, discovered the entry, she administratively removed Avery on May 17 from her position as class secretary and barred her from running for a fourth term for her senior year.

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