Student Says He Was Forced to Leave School After Refusing to Cover Pro-Trump Shirt — Now He's Suing The District

He wore a shirt promoting Trump's border wall to a class on immigration.

Addison Barnes (Screengrab)

An Oregon high school student is suing his school district after he was asked to cover up a shirt he was wearing in support of President Donald Trump, KPTV reports.

Eighteen-year-old Addison Barnes, a senior at Liberty High School, says he was asked to leave school on January 19 after he refused to take off a shirt with a graphic saying “Border Wall Construction Company.” Barnes said he wore the Trump tee to his “People and Politics” class on a day they were discussing immigration.

According to Barnes, the assistant principal pulled him out of class after the teacher complained.

“She gave me the option; either I cover the shirt up or I get sent home,” he told KPTV.

At first, Barnes said he relented to the administrator’s demands. 

“And then a few minutes later I decided, you know this isn’t right,” he recalled. “I have my First Amendment and it’s not right what they’re doing.”

Barnes later left school, which was marked on his record as a half-day suspension.

As KPTV reports, Liberty High School does not mention political clothing in its dress code, though the school district code of conduct states “clothing decorated or marked with illustrations, words, or phrases that are disruptive or potentially disruptive, and/or that promote superiority of one group over another is not permitted.”

Friday, Barnes filed suit against Hillsboro School District in federal court.

“If somebody else disagrees with me politically, I think they should be able to express their viewpoints just as I should be able to express my viewpoints in school,” Barnes told KPTV.

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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.