Identity of Speakers
N.Y. was a student within the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.
- Incident Protested
- Did not involve Speech Codes
N.Y., a minor high school student at the time of the incident, created a video in support of his candidacy for student body president, which depicted him rescuing students from kidnappers. The video was criticized by some as Islamophobic. The video was posted on Youtube and remained there for 12.5 hours. N.Y. removed the video when he learned that some other students found the video offensive. Some students formally complained about the video. Administrators took action, punishing N.Y. by removing him from all of his leadership positions within the school student body leadership and disqualified him from the election. The school administration classified the video as being in violation of an election rule on the use of “inappropriate material.” The school later reinstituted N.Y. after being contacted by the student’s attorney. The incident created an uproar in the community, on social media, and led to protests at the school. There are also allegations that the school encouraged student protests over the reversal of the punishment and that it supplied confidential information about the school’s investigation to parents hostile to the student. The student in question brought a lawsuit against the school district and individual administrators asking the court for an order to stop retaliatory actions against the student as well as asking for damages. The school district settled the lawsuit, paying the student $665,000 and issued a public apology.