Tyson Leon, 16, a junior at Shakopee High School in Shakopee, Minn., told a federal judge Tuesday his Twitter message sent in August reading "Im boutta drill my teammates on Monday" referred to hard tackling at a football scrimmage and not a terror threat.
He added the school's effort to punish him, by suspending him from the football team and threatening to forbid his participation in all school sports, is sabotaging his hope of attending college on a sports scholarship.
Leon has been a wrestler since the seventh grade and has been scouted for a potential wrestling scholarship by North Dakota State University, said his lawyer, Meg Kane, in federal court in St. Paul Tuesday.
Kane said Leon was given no way to appeal his suspension, and was told by school officials they had evidence of his "chemical use" at an earlier football retreat, an allegation not mentioned in an Aug. 29 letter to his parents, advising them of his suspension from football.
"They [school officials] are trampling on [students'] constitutional rights," Kane said. "It's a widespread problem with lots of families complaining about it. Nobody wants to go on the record because they're afraid their children will be retaliated against."