Students at an Illinois high school are suing the district and several officials alleging that when they tried to stage a pro-Second Amendment event – at the same time other students were holding an anti-gun assembly – they were discriminated against and subjected to taunts.
The Second Amendment Foundation filed the case against Hononegah Community High School District 207, Supt. Michael Dugan, Executive Associate Principal Chad Dougherty and Principal Eric Flohr.
Madison Oster, 16, and her father, Jeremy, are the plaintiffs in the case filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division
The Rockton, Illinois, school did not respond to a message requesting comment.
The Second Amendment Foundation said the lawsuit “alleges that on March 14, Madison and a few other students wanted to express pro-Second Amendment school safety messages during a planned ‘walkout’ by other students calling for gun control measures in response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.”
“Madison’s small group was separated from the walkout, which was held on the football field, ‘out of everyone else’s sight or hearing,'” the foundation said.
The complaint alleges Dougherty would not allow the pro-gun-rights students onto the football field, requiring them instead to stand with their signs on a sidewalk, outside the football field and separated from it by part of the parking lot.
“When Madison asked Dougherty why her group was not allowed on the field with everyone else, he suggested that they would disturb the peace and start a fight,” the complaint explains.
The complaint also contends that Flohr called Madison and her group “troublemakers,” and after the walkout, Dougherty allegedly “subjected Madison’s group to the taunts of their classmates by holding them aside while all of the other students walked past them into the building. One student yelled at Madison to kill herself. Another student took pictures of Madison’s group, one of which reportedly became an online meme and method of ridicule among the other HCHS students.”
Second Amendment Foundation spokesman Alan Gottlieb said social prejudice “is wrong, no matter who is practicing or enabling it.”
“It is unconscionable for school officials to allow this sort of thing, much less enable it. That’s why we’re supporting Madison and her father,” he said. “Students with different viewpoints retain their free speech rights. When school officials allow those students to be harassed and bullied, something must be done. And we’re just the ones to do it.”