(SHEBOYGAN PRESS) — The Sheboygan Area School District erred when it confiscated a second-grader’s Valentine’s Day messages because they included a religious passage, according to a lawyer who is representing the child’s mother.

David French, an attorney with the American Center for Law and Justice, said James Madison Elementary School student Dexter Thielhelm should have been able to distribute valentines that contained candy, a note reading “Jesus Loves You” and the Biblical passage from John 3:16.

French is representing Dexter’s mother, Melissa Wolf.

“It’s pretty simple really,” French said. “A student does not shed his constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate. The general rule is student free speech is protected absent disruption. The fact that that the school thinks somebody else might say something else that might disrupt the school is no reason to deprive students of constitutional liberties.”

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