The American Civil Liberties Union has sued a school district on behalf of a 14-year-old rap music fan who was expelled after he posted lyrics on the Internet in which, according to police, he threatened to shoot up his school and named a potential victim.
The ACLU said the songs by Anthony Latour, of Ellwood City, are protected speech, among other reasons, because they were composed at home and not brought to school. The suit says Latour’s expulsion in May from the Riverside Beaver County School District violated his parents’ right to control his upbringing.
“The school may not like Anthony’s songs, but it is beyond their ability to dictate what he reads, writes or even raps at home,” said Witold “Vic” Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s legal director.
What if little Anthony just says it in a conversational tone, or types it in an Internet chat room?