Student who was suspended for posting photo with gun on Facebook sues college for 'violating her constitutional rights'
A student in Florida, Dia'mon Dallas, is suing her school after she was suspended indefinitely after posting a photograph of herself posing with a handgun while at a shooting range.
As per the lawsuit which was filed on May 14 in the US District Court in Jacksonville, Dallas has alleged that her constitutional rights were violated when the First Coast Technical College suspended her over her picture which was shared to her Facebook page. She told WJAX-TV, "Everything has just gone down the drain. I really was trying hard in school. I was making A’s."
Dallas explained that she and her fiance Anfernee Royster were at a shooting range along with her cousin who is a military veteran who was teaching the couple how to shoot. The pair then posed together for a picture holding the firearms along with the caption, "She’s my Bonnie and I’m her Clyde." Another student then reported the picture to the St. Augustine based school after it was shared online.
The assistant principal Donna Gary Donovan then confronted Dallas and told her that she was being indefinitely suspended. She also told the student that she had a "mean look" on her face in the picture. Dallas is now suing the school for violating her First and 14th Amendment rights.
According to the Jacksonville Daily Record, the lawsuit said that the photo was "purely off-campus Facebook communication with friends." It also stated that it had no connection to a "school-related activity" and therefore does not "interrupt the school environment". Republican state Rep. Chris Byrd who is representing Dallas said, "Some people just don’t like guns. They feel threatened by firearms. But that’s why we have constitutional protections, to protect activities that other people might find uncomfortable or unpopular."
The complaint asks the court to declare that the school had violated Dallas' rights under the federal and state constitutions and that a corrective statement is made and her student file indicating that she was unconstitutionally disciplined and that her rights were violated.
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