EDINA, Minnesota- A student group of conservatives says the school shut them down after controversy arose over after they posted a video denouncing those who refuse to stand for Taps during a ceremony. Attorney Erick Kaardal  says they have filed a lawsuit in federal court now.

Local station KSTP reports that according to Kaardal,  members of the Edina High School Young Conservatives Club received a rash of threats and were labeled racists in social media posts, including one showing a masked individual using the moniker “EHS Antifa.”

The attorney says tensions escalated in the ensuing days on social media between students upset with the video post and the conservative group. Schultz’s letter to parents, dated Nov. 13, called the masked students’ post “inflammatory and creepy,” but said an administration and police investigation found no “credible or legal threat against any EHS, or any Edina student, staff member or school,” the KSTP report explained.

Photo: KSTP/Joe Caffrey

The school later disbanded the conservative student group, Kaardal says. In a release, Kaardal quoted the school’s reason for the termination was that the group “criticized the school’s policies supporting the organized student protest at the November 9, 2017, Edina High School Veterans Day Program.”

The school newspaper says one member of the conservative club singled out a protester specifically saying, “he can barely speak English.” Another message said of the protesters, “at least we can relish in the fact that none of them are going to college and won’t amount to anything.”

The lawsuit names as defendants Edina High School, Principal Andy Beaton, the Edina School District and Superintendent John Schultz.

The lawsuit alleges that  that the school violated the students’ rights under the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act. It also states the “U.S. Flag Code preempts Edina High School policy requiring students to “respect” those who protest the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag during Veterans Day programs by kneeling or sitting,” according to the release.

Edina High School is a four-year public high school located in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The current student population is 2,746.

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