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Oregon mother sues school after son is suspended for saying teacher 'needs to be shot' on Facebook

Braeden Burge was an eighth-grade student at Colton Middle School when he made the comments about health teacher Veronica Bouck.
By Evan Bleier   |   April 15, 2014 at 11:27 AM   |   Comments

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PORTLAND, Ore., April 15 (UPI) -- An Oregon mother has filed a lawsuit against her son’s school district after he was suspended for getting on social media and making a death threat against his health teacher because she gave him a C and got him grounded.

When Veronica Bouck gave him the mediocre grade, 16-year-old Braeden Burge called her a "bitch" who "needs to be shot" on his Facebook page.

"I just noticed that every time I've been grounded in middle school it's because of Mrs. Bouck ... I wish she would just get fired haha but I doubt that'll ever happen," the teen added.

His mother, along with the ACLU Foundation of Oregon, has filed a suit against Colton School District 53 alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment violations.

Kelly Burge claims the district had no right to suspend her son for comments he made "from the privacy of his own home, outside of school hours, and while not participating in a school-sponsored activity."

The suit seeks to have Braeden's record expunged.

"The district has overreached by suspending Braeden for off-campus speech with no evidence that his speech actually caused or was reasonably likely to cause a material and substantial disruption of on-campus educational activities," the complaint states. "[Principal Kara Powell] did not ask Braeden if he had access to guns or any experience with guns, she did not speak with the other students who posted comments on Braeden's Facebook wall in response to his comments about Bouck.”

A previous lawsuit against the school district was dismissed "for procedural reasons."

[Courthouse News Service]

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