Authors of racist blog want Lee's Summit schools to reinstate - KCTV5

Authors of racist blog want Lee's Summit schools to reinstate them

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Twin students at Lee's Summit North High School are asking a federal judge to order the school district to reinstate them.

The boys were suspended 180 days each after they posted a blog with racist comments. The boys said the suspension will destroy their chances to get scholarships and jeopardize their college and career aspirations.

One of the boys testified in court Monday. He said the blog, North Press, was satirical and was only intended to be seen by a handful of friends who have the same sense of humor.

An attorney for the Lee's Summit School District said the website contained highly explicit sexual material and racially insensitive remarks and the suspensions were justified.

Lee's Summit North High School students were abuzz in December about the blog called North Press. The website's 40 pages of racially insensitive rants were scrubbed after KCTV5 began investigating.

The boys had put the blog on a Dutch server and thought they had taken measures to keep it private and restricted to a handful of friends. They also didn't make any posts on school computers but they didn't password protect it. They said they didn't do so because they didn't have the expertise.

But one of their friends made some racy and vulgar comments and word spread quickly. The post was up for about 12 hours. One of the twins quickly deleted it but word had gotten out about the blog by then.

In their lawsuit, the boys said they were honor students who had participated in band and theater programs. They said they had no history of serious disciplinary issues. One student was slated to be a drum major while the second boy was slated to be the drum line captain.

They contend the district is violating their First Amendment rights. They said they vented their frustrations about their school and classmate while in the privacy of their home on their personal computer.

The boys initially had been told they would be suspended just 10 days, according to the lawsuit. They believe because of the publicity over North Press that the superintendent drastically increased the suspensions.

In court filings, the federal judge assigned to the case indicated he was looking at a number of issues including whether to order the students assigned to a different high school and the damage suffered by those named in the blog postings.

To read previous coverage, click here.

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