ATLANTA - The ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to Bradwell Institute and the Liberty County School System demanding that they immediately cancel the suspension of Amari Ewing, a sophomore at Bradwell Institute, who received a wildly disproportionate five-day suspension for protesting the Parkland shooting by walking out of school. She remained out of class for 17 minutes - one for each person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
According to Keysha Ewing, the student's mother, when she asked Principal Gilbert what the typical punishment was for an unexcused absence, he told her that an unexcused absence results in only one day of in-school suspension.
"If this is true, then punishing Amari five times more severely for being absent for only 17 minutes is blatantly unconstitutional," wrote Sean J. Young, Legal Director for the ACLU of Georgia. "It is unconstitutional to punish a student who peacefully walks out in protest more severely than any other student who is absent from school for 17 minutes or some other short period of time without excuse, for whatever reason," Young continued.
The ACLU of Georgia is demanding Ms. Ewing return to school immediately and the principal and superintendent fully expunge this unconstitutional discipline from her record or reduce her punishment to the equivalent punishment that any other student would receive for an unexcused absence from school for less than an hour.