Federal judge approves settlement between Shawnee Mission, student plaintiffs in 1st Amendment lawsuit

SM North students gathered along Johnson Drive to protest on April 20, 2018.

Following a hearing with a federal judge on Thursday, Shawnee Mission officials say they have finalized a settlement agreement with three students who brought a lawsuit against the district in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union over claims that their 1st Amendment rights were violated during National Walkout Day demonstrations to protest school shootings last year.

The terms of the agreement, which the parties tentatively agreed to in March, call for Shawnee Mission to commit to having administrators trained on students’ 1st Amendment rights; to adopt new policy language clarifying students’ rights to express their views in non-school sponsored events and to protect student journalists; and to pay $1 to each plaintiff in nominal damages.