The officials who suspended honors student Reid Sagehorn from Rogers High School now find themselves defendants in a federal lawsuit charging defamation and civil rights violations.
Sagehorn was suspended for a tweet saying “actually, yeah” to another tweet asking if he had “made out” with a female teacher. He later explained it was meant sarcastically. He was suspended for five days and then another five days were added, along with a recommendation of expulsion. He then withdrew from school voluntarily.
The police then forwarded the matter to Hennepin County for possible criminal charges and told media outlets that Sagehorn had committed a felony, the complaint states. Hennepin County declined prosecution.
“The defendants were motivated by and conducted themselves in accordance with a continuing, widespread, persistent pattern of unconstitutional conduct,” the complaint states.
One of Sagehorn’s counsel, Minneapolis attorney Robert Bennett, issued the following statement: “Reid Sagehorn, his family, and his lawyers believe that the best forum to discuss the issues that arise from the conduct of the adults in the school administration and the Rogers Police Department is that of a federal court with its impartial judiciary and a jury of his peers. Talking about this publically in the media at this time will not further our goal of having the case dealt with there. Reid’s complaint clearly states our view of the facts and causes of action in this case.”