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High school student suspended over tweet sues school

Teen Sues School District After Suspension Over Tweet


A Minnesota high school graduate is suing his former school district after a two-word tweet got him suspended. It's a pretty interesting case that starts with what Reid Sagehorn is calling a "sarcastic tweet taken too seriously."



The StarTribune reports Sagehorn, a former student at Rogers High School, replied to a tweet that asked whether he made out with a 28-year-old teacher. He responded, "actually yeah."

​Sagehorn's ​Twitter profile has since been set to private, but his two-word tweet is still making headlines.

KARE reports Sagehorn was initially suspended for five days after the tweet surfaced for "causing damage to a teacher's reputation." For reasons that aren't entirely clear, that suspension was later extended, and Sagehorn says the ensuing controversy forced him to withdraw from the school just months before graduation.

"Now he's suing the district and Rogers police for violating his First Amendment rights and defamation. In the lawsuit, his attorneys write: 'Reid's post was meant to be taken in jest. This was a mistake.'"

According to NBC, local authorities say Sagehorn caused real harm to the teacher.

"She's been bullied and berated by students, and I know that this has become very difficult to even continue her teaching career."

By the way, Fox News reports local authorities found no evidence of an actual relationship between Sagehorn and the teacher.

But The Inquisitr quotes Rogers Police Chief Jeff Behean as comparing the tweet to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater or saying there's a bomb on a plane.

But in the same article, a law professor says: "The facts are particularly bad for the school because there's not threatening behavior here ... the only disruption from speech came because of the school's extreme reaction to it."

An editorial by the Minnesota Daily also argues that perhaps the school made too much of the situation.

The editorial reads in part, "This episode is another case of gross overreaction to teens' social media use."

The StarTribune reports Sagehorn's suit, filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court, asks for a jury trial and compensation from the school district and police department. He plans to attend North Dakota State University in the fall.

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Join the discussion

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coatoam June 20 2014 at 5:35 AM

This kid is a jerk, and our judicial system has gone mad if they allow this kid to sue the school.

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12 replies
ronnybrume June 20 2014 at 6:50 AM

this punk and his punk lawyers are symptoms of the lack of human decency in America.

Flag Reply +96 rate up
3 replies
telvis June 20 2014 at 5:36 AM

Bet the self centered jerk hasn't even apologized to the teacher for all the trouble he caused her. Maybe she will sue him.

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7 replies
ksheaf0025 June 20 2014 at 7:07 AM

The teacher did nothing wrong! The smart ass punk falsely accused her of something that did not happen and now she is paying the price. READ the article! Yet, some of you defend this kid? Joke or no joke, it was wrong for this punk to ruin another persons reputation and think that it was ok. He has NO right to sue the school. The school did the right thing and more schools should do the same to kids that think they can get away with saying things that are absolutely not true about their employees!!

Flag Reply +76 rate up
4 replies
nphxtop June 20 2014 at 6:41 AM

When did we forget that libel and slander are actually torts that can have redress in the courts. Twitter is like posting a article in a newpaper or going on a radio show - it goes everywhere and to anybody.
The teacher should counter sue.

Flag Reply +65 rate up
2 replies
cdrewparks889 nphxtop June 20 2014 at 6:56 AM

that's part of the issue, taking small things like a two word tweet and blowing them into huge proportions with lawsuits has made the US a downright silly place to be. You always feel like you're walking on eggshells because now offending someone has become worse than murder in the public eye. Look at the poll taken earlier this year about who the most hated man in America is: A rapist? no. A murderer? no. Someone who bankrupted hundreds of families in a pyramid scheme? no. It was Donald Sterling. An insensitive comment is now less acceptable than murder in America. We are a disgusting people and I am ashamed to be an American.

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18 replies
tetlows nphxtop June 20 2014 at 9:22 PM

Your opinion is right on.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jimjn2 June 20 2014 at 6:26 AM

This punk needs to learn that stupid is not an excuse. Just like you can't yell fire in a theater, you can't jeopardize someone's career. Actions should have consequences .

Flag Reply +58 rate up
IBruzEZ June 20 2014 at 7:25 AM

You are talking about ruining a person's reputation and her career because of some stupid, ignorant teenager who has no idea of right and wrong. The school did not make too much of anything.

Flag Reply +57 rate up
2 replies
darkcloudstonite IBruzEZ June 20 2014 at 2:26 PM

In the kids defense, he obviously has terrible parents if they hired a lawyer to sue rather than admit their son was wrong and have him apologize, so that's probably why he grew up to be a pathetic worm

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MIKEY'S SCREEN IBruzEZ June 20 2014 at 2:44 PM

"......ignorant teenager who has no idea of right and wrong."

He's 18 years old. I went to Vietnam at age 18 and fought during the TET Offensive in 1968.

When we stormed Grenada, Panama, and then the Persian Gulf 1 Wars, I had 18 year old Marines giving orders to privates that decided between life and death.

Most people understand the difference between right and wrong before they even reach puberty. This moron thought that he would be "cool" in front of his friends.

I hope the teacher sues him and his parents.

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2 replies
Jim MIKEY'S SCREEN June 20 2014 at 4:27 PM

Only difference between this teen boy and millions of others is now a days everything is recorded on social media. When I was in high school in the late 80s guys bragged all the time about girls, teachers they though were hot, and so on, that's what teen boys do. Only difference is back then it went no further than your friends. now with social media it can go to the whole school, including teachers, in a matter of seconds. So all those holier than thous out there need to relax, this type of thing has been going on for a long, long time, he just got singled out because of today's technology.
Watch an old rerun of Happy Days, they talk about sex pretty much the whole show, this is nothing new.

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flameshoter1111 MIKEY'S SCREEN June 20 2014 at 4:28 PM

i am really greatful for what you have done for this country. But why are you accusing this kid as the one at fault? why is it not the other kid's fault for posting it on his timeline. this kid only replied in a sarcastic way. Sarcasm is not suppose to be taken serious. Even though he answered sarcasticly, why do you assume he spread the rumor? maybe the kid who posted the tweet to the kid was spreading it. Maybe someone else saw the tweet and start spreading the rumor. no offense but jumping to conclusions never solves the problem. And you never know, this kid might be planning on protecting this country some time soon. On a side note, people must complete college first before they can really join the military or some kind of branch. well i mean you could drop out of highschool, but the military prefers completion of highschool because they in return will help fund for college

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Richard June 20 2014 at 7:37 AM

What you say in public can be defamatory --- his lawsuit can now be at risk for a counter suit from the teacher for libel and defamation of character and can seek monetary damages .... careful what box you open there kid.

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2 replies
drodri8527 Richard June 20 2014 at 10:19 AM

The idiot lawyer that took this kids case should be disbarred!!!

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2 replies
elaine drodri8527 June 20 2014 at 11:23 AM

I agree with you there, Megan. When the lawyers in this country stop trying to make a bundle of money off stupidity and things like this case, maybe things could be a little better. MAYBE.

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AMedicGary drodri8527 June 20 2014 at 3:20 PM

his parents should be disbarred for raising such a jerk.

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Kellie Richard June 20 2014 at 8:16 PM

the teacher cannot counter sue the a lawsuit against the school he is suing the school not the teacher

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1 reply
jet202 Kellie June 21 2014 at 12:00 PM

The teacher can most definitely sue for defamation against the kid

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John Olsen June 20 2014 at 5:52 AM

Another pass the blame, take no blame for your actions. Priceless!!!

Flag Reply +39 rate up
2 replies
frozenbull John Olsen June 20 2014 at 6:13 AM

You are so right !

Flag Reply +7 rate up
elaine John Olsen June 20 2014 at 11:23 AM

EXACTLY

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Tom June 20 2014 at 7:21 AM

Awwww he made a joke...he's what..18? He doesn't know better...it's ok.....but boy you better not be a 5 year old and point your finger at someone one and go bang...you will be suspended for a week...or even worse...be a 4 year old and chew your pop tart into the shape of a gun...you may get suspended for a year...they should know better....but the leftys think that this guy shouldn't be punished at all even though he smeared another person's life for a joke!

Flag Reply +38 rate up
11 replies
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