SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

ACLU of Indiana sues school officials over T-shirt dispute

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing officials at a northern Indiana school, alleging that they violated a Black student's constitutional rights by sending him home for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the text, “I hope I don’t get killed for being Black today.”

Posted: Nov 24, 2020 11:15 AM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is suing officials at a northern Indiana school, alleging that they violated a Black student's constitutional rights by sending him home for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the text, “I hope I don’t get killed for being Black today.”

The federal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend names the principal and assistant principal of Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School as defendants.

The complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in South Bend names as defendants the principal and assistant principal of Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School as defendants .

The suit was filed on behalf of the male junior, who is identified only as D.E. in court documents. It alleges that in August he was called to the school’s administration office after someone purportedly complained about his T-shirt, The Indianapolis Star reported.

“That is not going to fly,” principal Dr. Jon Lippe told the student when he saw the shirt, according to the lawsuit. The student was then given another T-shirt to change into for the day, but he refused to do so, it states.

Assistant Principal Dorey Mobley then told the student that his mother would have to come and take him home for the day, it alleges.

The ACLU of Indiana's lawsuit alleges that Lippe and Mobley violated the student's First Amendment rights and asks that the court award him damages and direct administrators to allow him to continue wearing the shirt at school in North Manchester, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Fort Wayne.

The complaint also alleges that students at the school are allowed to wear T-shirts that have Confederate flags and “Blue Lives Matter” slogans and describes the plaintiff as one of the few students at the school who identifies as Black.

According to the lawsuit, the student has “been subjected to racial epithets in the school in the past from fellow students and he believes that the message of the t-shirt is an important one to transmit to students and staff and that the t-shirt makes an extremely important statement."

“Schools cannot selectively choose which social issues students can support through messages on their clothing,” Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana’s legal director, said in a statement. “Students do not lose their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse doors."

Mark A. Franz, the general counsel for Manchester Community Schools, told The Indianapolis Star that the school will not be commenting on the lawsuit.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Kokomo
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Lafayette
Mostly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Danville
Mostly Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 18°
Frankfort
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 18°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 22°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Active Start To The Work Week
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events