ACLU sends letter to SMSD following alleged free speech violations

Grace Altenhofen, Writer

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas sent a letter to SMSD Interim Superintendent Kenny Southwick last week following allegations of First Amendment violations that took place during the National School Walkout on April 20.

According to the letter, students’ speeches from Hocker Grove Middle School, Shawnee Mission North High School and Shawnee Mission East High School were censored by school administration during their planned walkouts. The letter also alleges that one associate principal at Hocker Grove pushed several students in an attempt to make them go back inside. The ACLU of Kansas has hired an attorney to review the allegations.

SMSD sent a letter to parents and students on April 27 regarding the situation.

“Since the walkouts, we’ve learned of incidences at a few of our school buildings that we, as a district, pledge to review and learn from,” the letter said. “We value your voices and we value the lessons we can learn from your voices.”

The full letter from the ACLU can be read below:

ACLU letter to Superintendent Southwick