89.1 WEMU

Students File Lawsuit Against Saline Area Schools After Being Punished For Racist Remarks

Feb 12, 2020

Four Caucasian students from Saline Area Schools are suing the district after being punished for making racist remarks against African-Americans on social media.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the story.


The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit after the four students were suspended from school after taking part in a racist conversation in a Snapchat group last month.  Attorney David Kallman is representing the students and says the district violated their constitutional rights because the incident did not take place on school grounds, and it was part of a private conversation.

David Kallman: You have the right to due process and to fairness and the application of policies and procedures as a student.  And the Saline Schools District code of conduct, in fact, state law, requires them to have a code of conduct that only applies to incidents that will occur at the school, on school grounds, at schools events, athletic events, things like that.  Or traveling on a bus, or things like that.  Or if it happens on a school computer or website, that sort of thing.  Well, none of that applies to this situation.

Two of the students have been allowed back to school while the other two face expulsion.  The lawsuit is asking for monetary compensation and to have all students return to school and have their records cleared.  Saline Area Schools says they can't comment on pending litigation.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu