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Judge orders high school to let student use public address system for anti-Prop 3 message

Skyline High School - AAPS
By Dwight Burdette - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10276735
Skyline High School - AAPS

A federal judge ordered an Ann Arbor high school to let a student use its public address system for an anti-Proposal 3 message, after the student sued.

Proposal 3 would put abortion rights into the state constitution.

The student's lawsuit said Skyline High School had allowed other students to broadcast messages of a political nature — but not him.

Erin Mersino is the student's attorney. She said the judge's order is a victory for tolerance and pluralism.

"If students aren't exposed to different viewpoints when they're in school, how are they going to act towards people who share a viewpoint that they don't agree with out in the real world?"

After the court order on Friday, the school allowed the student's message to be broadcast on Monday morning, the day before the midterm elections.

The district said about 200 students staged a brief walkout in protest.

Ann Arbor Public Schools said its policy bars the use of district resources in advocacy for or against a ballot proposal.

The plaintiff is asking U.S. District Judge Paul Borman for further relief, including changes to the district's student speech policies. Attorneys for the district say they'll continue to defend their position as the lawsuit proceeds.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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