A high school student was suspended for seven weeks after he sarcastically responded to an anonymous Twitter comment, and now he’s suing his school for dragging his reputation through the mud.
The drama started when Reid Sagehorn, now 18, received an anonymous tweet accusing him of “making out” with one of his teachers at Rogers High in Rogers, Minn. The honor student and three-sport athlete jokingly responded, “Yeah, actually.”
But the school district took Sagehorn’s sarcastic tweet seriously, initially suspending him for 5 days for “damaging a teacher’s reputation.” As officials investigated the nonexistent student-teacher relationship, the suspension was increased to 10 days, and then nearly two months.
In the suit, which also names a principal and two superintendents as defendants, Sagehorn says the district violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He’s also suing the chief of police, Jeff Beahen, who mistakenly announced that the tweet could lead to felony charges. (It couldn’t and didn’t.)
Sagehorn, a minor when he posted the tweet, says his name will forever be linked with the term “felony.”
Sagehorn says he lost his basketball captainship and his spot on the baseball team, and was forced to change schools as a result of the suspension and surrounding drama. The district says the “door is still open” for the disgraced student to return to Rogers High and finish out his senior year.