School District Pays Out $25,000, Apologizes to Student Disciplined For Wearing Pro-Trump Shirt

Addison Barnes got bounced from class but after a judge rules in his favor, the Hillsboro district settles his case.

Addison Barnes (left) and radio host Lars Larson. (Courtesy of KXL)

Former Liberty High School student Addison Barnes won a legal victory against the Hillsboro School District in a legal settlement Barnes' attorneys announced today.

Liberty High Principal Greg Timmons will write a letter of apology to Reed, who was removed from class and told he couldn't wear shirt supporting President Donald J. Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.

In addition, the Hillsboro School District, of which Liberty High is a part, will pay Barnes' attorneys $25,000 for legal fees.

Barnes sued the district in U.S. District Court in Portland in May, as The Oregonian first reported. A federal judge ruled he had right to wear the shirt.

"I brought this case to stand up for myself and other students who might be afraid to express their right-of-center views," Barnes said in a statement. "Everyone knows that if a student wears an anti-Trump shirt to school, the teachers won't think twice about it. But when I wore a pro-Trump shirt, I got suspended. That's not right."

Barnes was represented in the case by the Benbrook Law Group of Sacrarment and Lynch Conger McLane LLP of Bend.

Mike McClane, who in addition to representing Barnes is the Oregon House minority leader, said in a statement that Barnes' situation was a straightforward First Amendment case.

"Political speech, whether popular or not, is protected by the Constitution," McLane said. "High school students have the right to express political views subject to restrictions that must be equally applied to all students. This case reinforced that proposition."

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.