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Florida Student Gets Suspended for Handing Out “End the Drug War” Flyers
news  |  Oct 10, 2019

Florida Student Gets Suspended for Handing Out “End the Drug War” Flyers

Official paperwork cited disobedience and insubordination for the suspension, but the teen argues that administrators infringed on his right to free speech.

Official paperwork cited disobedience and insubordination for the suspension, but the teen argues that administrators infringed on his right to free speech.

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For many of us, high school is the first place that we craft our identity and start to develop personal ideals and opinions about the world. For one Florida high schooler, that political awakening quickly resulted in a week-long suspension.

According to an exclusive account provided to the website The Free Thought Project, the issue arose when the unnamed Sunshine State teen arrived at school in a flat brim hat boasting the slogan “Taxation Is Theft” alongside a stack of flyers that said “End the Drug War.” The hat and handouts are promotional materials for long-shot libertarian presidential candidate Dan Behrman, but the campaign swag didn’t go over well with school administrators.

“The administration claimed that I can’t wear hats outside, when it actually says in the Florida Constitution that students can, in fact, wear hats or other headgear outside,” the teen told The Free Thought Project.

Gallery — Reefer Madness!

In a photo of the suspension notice sent to the The Free Thought Project, school administrators cited “disobedience and insubordination” as the reasoning for the suspension. The teen did not have any drugs on school grounds and did not organize an impromptu anti-tax tea party in the school pool. But, as the teen told it, he was still confronted by on-campus law enforcement officers and escorted off school property.

“I was suspended out of school for five days for the flyers and refusing to turn them in and being skeptical of their claims of what the rules are,” the teen said. “They lied to me about the hat rule, so I was thinking that they might be lying again. They didn’t allow the opportunity for me to look up the rule because they knew that they could have possibly been wrong.”

It is not yet clear if the student has plans to pursue legal action against the school or district, but as of press time, the teen and his parents have decided to keep his name and the name of the school anonymous. 

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter

zachharris

Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.

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