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Jena 6 T-shirt lawsuit filed

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According to documents filed Oct. 4, a Smyrna High School parent filed suit against a Rutherford County Schools employee for violating her daughter’s constitutional rights.

Norma Super filed a complaint on behalf of her daughter Danielle, claiming Smyrna High School Assistant Principal Jolene Watson violated Danielle’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by refusing to allow her to wear a T-shirt declaring, “Free the Jena Six.”

"We believe the school acted properly and that will be proven in the end," said James Evans, Rutherford County Schools spokesman. "The issue was about safety not free speech."

According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred Sept. 20 when Danielle arrived at school after a Nashville march in support of six black Louisiana students, whose arrests for allegedly beating a white classmate have sparked a civil rights debate.

Danielle arrived at school and was asked to change her shirt before going to class. Watson allegedly told the student the shirt “could cause a problem.” At which point, Danielle changed shirts and entered the school.

Watson’s actions, the lawsuit contends, violated Danielle’s constitutional rights.

The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages, an injunction to allow students to wear shirts supporting the Jena 6 and lawyer’s fees and costs related to the legal action.

Michelle Willard can be contacted at 869-0816 or mwillard@murfreesboropost.com.
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Members Opinions:
October 10, 2007 at 12:00am
i support freedom of expression and freedom of speech. but it's just like your job. if you work, and your employer has a dress code, you abide by it. they have the right to impose that code on you. so should/does a school. if they have a dress code, it needs to be followed while there. outside the school premises, go for it!! express your views however you want.
October 10, 2007 at 12:00am
I only hope that if this fool ever gets attacked by non-caucasian criminals, or the chance to have her head stomped by a pack of vicious scum, someone steps forward to protest any punishment for her atackers, as she is white, and thus deserved it This is what this pack of mmother/daghter duped fools is really 'standing up' for.

These black jena attackers did nothing heroic. They committed a violent COWARDLY racial attack against a lone outnumbered white boy who had done nothing to them, then shouted ''racism'', after they themselves had caused a violent racial assault.

Maybe this fool can also wear a shirt for Channon Christian.
October 10, 2007 at 12:00am
Jena 6 is a racial slur if you ask me. She should be expelled for trying to start a racial riot.
October 10, 2007 at 12:00am
This kid knew what she was doing. It's all about getting attention, and the news media fell right into it. Hopefully, the judge will throw it right out of court. Her mother needs to be teaching her to follow the rules instead of breaking them by doing something this stupid.
October 11, 2007 at 12:00am
How did people come up with the idea that you have a "right" to brandish your stupidity?
October 11, 2007 at 12:00am
This case is no different than the Jena 6. It is all about the law and simple rules. It is not against the law to hang a rope from a tree but it is against the law to beat someone up, especially when there is six to one. The school rules are no t-shirts of the sort the girl wore....and don't put this off on the student this is a parent thing...a parent that doesn't like the assistant principal...Shame on her for setting a bad example.
February 15, 2013 at 1:53pm
I feel that Norma was justified in her lawsuit against the Rutherford County Schools employee for violating her daughter's constitutional rights. Her daughter, Danielle, had all the right to wear her shirt that said "Free The Jena Six." her rights were violated by the school board when they told her that she couldn't wear her shirt in the school because they felt it "could cause a problem." Danielle wasn't bothering anyone, she was screaming for protest, she just wanted to wear her shirt to represent her opinion of the wrongful arrest of the 6 black students in Alabama.
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