Settlement reportedly reached in KC-area students’ free speech case

Overland Park — A civil rights group says it has struck a settlement deal with the Shawnee Mission School District in a federal lawsuit alleging violations of the free speech and press rights of students.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas announced Tuesday in a news release that the school district will adopt new policies to ensure future students will not have their free speech rights violated at school.

It says the parties have agreed not to release settlement details until after the court approves it.

The legal dispute stems from a nationwide walkout last year protesting gun violence. The lawsuit accuses the school district of suppressing students’ political speech.

It alleged administrators ended student anti-gun violence rallies, confiscated the cameras of student journalists covering them and punished some participating students.

The school district on Tuesday released a statement confirming that a settlement deal had been reached, but declining to comment further until the agreement had been approved by the court.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.