FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2019
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4105, mmccormick@aclukansas.org
 
OVERLAND PARK, KS - The ACLU of Kansas and the Shawnee Mission School District have reached a settlement agreement in which the school district will adopt new measures for non-school sponsored events, the ACLU of Kansas announced March 5.
The parties agreed, however, to not release details of the settlement until after the court approves the settlement in the next couple of weeks.
 
“The settlement is a victory for students across the Shawnee Mission School District,” said Lauren Bonds, legal director and interim executive director of the ACLU of Kansas. “We’re pleased about school district measures to ensure future students will not have their free speech rights violated at school.”
 
The settlement ends a protracted battle for student free speech and press rights that began when school administrators abruptly ended student anti-gun violence rallies, confiscated the cameras of student journalists covering the rallies, and punished some students for participating.
 
The Shawnee Mission School District had filed a motion in September to have student claims dismissed but last month, Chief United States District Court Judge Julie Robinson ruled that the case could continue. As of late November, the district had spent more than $36,000 on legal fees associated with the case.
 
Judge Robinson’s decision arrived just days before the parties were scheduled to meet with a judge for a settlement conference. A trial date had tentatively been set for December.
 
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.
 

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