Update (February 10, 2018): In the face of Edina High School’s motion to dismiss, it looks as if the Edina High School Young Conservatives Club, having made its publicity splash with their lawsuit, will now quietly slink away in a quick settlement.
Original post (January 26, 2018): Following up on Monday’s post, we got Edina High School’s (EHS) memorandum of law in support of their motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint this week. As is often the case, the memo enriches our understanding of the claims and defenses in the lawsuit. Before reviewing the memo, we only had the Plaintiffs’ allegations.
In this case, EHS’ response makes the Plaintiffs look foolish.
Plaintiffs allege that their student club was terminated because it refused to comply with the mission, values, and goals of the school. However, Plaintiffs admit that they did not apply to become an official student club, despite the fact that the District had aproved this club in previous years and suggested that they form a school-sponsored club for the 2017-2018 year.
This comes as something of a surprise. Plaintiffs claim their club was terminated but it turns out that they self-terminated. EHS also points out that the EHS policy that Plaintiffs object to is mandated by a state statute.
A school district or charter school that has a student handbook or school policy guide must include a statement that anyone who does not wish to participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for any personal reasons may elect not to do so and that students must respect another person’s right to make that choice.
As EHS points out in its brief, seems like Plaintiffs’ beef is with the state, not the school. And it “appears to be
politically motivated rather than based on applicable law.”
We strongly recommend that anyone interested in First Amendment issues in the context of our public school system read the memorandum. You might learn something.