WMC Action News 5

Lawsuit Filed Against SCS After Principal Placed on Leave, Violates Free Speech

February 26, 2021

(WMC Action News 5)—The principal of Cordova High School is suing Shelby County Schools.


He’s been off the job since last month, suspended for comments he made to students after the uprising at the Capitol.

Attorneys for Principal Barton Thorne claim his right to free speech was violated after he tried teaching a lesson to his students about free speech.

“It’s really indicative of the fact that this was about politics and not about good education,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney for the Liberty Justice Center, which filed a federal lawsuit against SCS on Thursday, February 25. “So we filed the lawsuit this morning and within an hour we were told that Principal Thorne would be reinstated,” said an LJC attorney.

SCS suspended Thorne six weeks ago after a weekly address to students in which he talked about the Capitol Hill riots and social media giants Twitter and Facebook banning former President Trump.

“If they unilaterally decide what you can and cannot hear,” he told students, “that should be very chilling to you. That should be frightening.” “You may be in agreement with the people who are doing the filtering,” he continued, “but it’s just one moment away from somebody else being able to filter you.”