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September 08, 2007

"Douchbag" Case Gains National Attention, Doninger Receives National Support

I'm glad that folks are taking notice of the Avery Doninger case and its potential impact on student rights everywhere. And that support spreads far beyond her Connecticut home.

Support, both financial and moral, for Avery Doninger's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has spread across the country.

Doninger is seeking an injunction to overturn the 2008 class officer election results of Lewis S. Mills High School on the grounds that school officials unconstitutionally denied her candidacy. Although she won the election with write-in votes by her classmates, school officials still refuse to allow her to take the 2008 class secretary position.

Doninger alleges she was stripped of her junior class secretary title and not allowed to run for senior class office because she exercised her right to free speech and expressed a grievance on a blog site from her home computer.

On Aug. 31, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Kravitz denied Doninger's motion for a temporary injunction, issuing a 34-page memorandum on his ruling 45 minutes after the close of court.

"A battle is lost, the war is not over," said Avery's mother, Lauren. "We now head to the 2nd Circuit to appeal the denial and continue to seek injunctive relief. Additionally, we will file trial paperwork. Unlike the very rushed hearing, this will be a jury trial."

With the appeal expected to cost approximately $20,000, not including payment to attorney John Schoenhorn for his representation, Doninger set up an online donation site. She did not expect support for her appeal would ripple across the nation.

As I've pointed out in previous posts, this is a decision with potentially devastating effects upon the First Amendment rights of students -- after all the speech for which this student is being punished took place away from school outside of school hours, but the school wants to regulate it and discipline based upon it.

I'm particularly struck by the wisdom of this commentator.

Greg Aydt, a world history high school teacher and right-wing conservative from Houston, Texas, also posted a link to Doninger's fund on his site, http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu. He said he put the link on his site because very often he sees school administrators take a very narrow and cramped view of students' rights.

"When you are in your home at [9 p.m.] on your computer, that's not a place the school has any right to intrude, unless it presents a direct threat to student or school safety," Aydt said. "In this case, we have administrators who got their knickers in a twist because you have a student who isn't deferential to them 24 hours a day."

Yeah, I was contacted the other day requesting an interview. I'll concede, its a first. And while I don't know why Jacqueline Manning chose to describe me as a "right-wing conservative" rather than merely as a conservative (I'm the only person whose political orientation is noted). But that's neither here nor there. I was honored to be asked and even more honored to be included in the article. Heck, I'm simply honored to be able to lend my voice in support of a good cause.

And by the way, here is a way to help Avery and her mom continue their fight for freedom of speech.

OPEN TRACKBACKING AT Stop the ACLU, Perri Nelson's Website, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary's Thoughts, Right Truth, The Populist, The Uncooperative Radio Show! Aug. 07, 08 and 09, 2007, Shadowscope, The Pet Haven Blog, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, 4 Time Father?, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Right Voices, Church and State, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Random Yak, 123beta, Adam's Blog, Nuke's News & Views, Webloggin, Cao's Blog, Phastidio.net, The Bullwinkle Blog, , Conservative Cat, Jo's Cafe, Faultline USA, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Gone Hollywood, and OTB Sports, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.





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"Right-wing conservative" is a redundant statement. This is a testament to the lack of intellectual acumen among the left.

And what exactly did this girl say to get the school so upset?

|| Posted by Shadow, September 8, 2007 02:24 PM ||

On her own computer, in her own home, outside of school hours, she referred to unnamed school and district administrators as "douchbags". It appears her real offense, though, was urging that taxpayers contact public officials to ensure an event scheduled to be held at the school was not answered, and the public employees in question did not like having their authority challenged by mere citizens -- especially not a teenage student.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, September 8, 2007 03:12 PM ||
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