A 16-year-old Minnesota high school student was banned from playing school sports after his tweet that said he would “drill” his opponents was interpreted as a threat, according to the Daily Mail.
Tyson Leon, a football player and wrestler at Shakopee High School, tweeted in August, “Im boutta drill my ‘teammates’ on Monday.”
School district officials didn’t appreciate Leon’s competitive spirit, deemed the tweet as a direct threat to his teammates and suspended him from playing sports.
A letter sent to Leon said that “threatening to harm members of the football team” was only one of the reasons for his punishment. Other reasons cited were swearing at the football coach, damaging a door, having previous suspensions for poor conduct in sports.
But his attorney, Meg Kane, claims school officials violated Leon’s rights to freedom of speech, privacy and his right to be free from unlawful seizure. The complaint also claims the school district singled Leon out because he is Native American, according to San Francisco Gate.
The tweet, says Leon, was not a threat but a reference to him tackling his opponents hard during practice.
Leon took the case before a federal judge who ruled in his favor. He has since been reinstated in the football team.
In a statement Wednesday, Shakopee Public Schools Superintendent Rod Thompson said the case wasn’t about social media or Twitter and that all student athletes and their parents or guardians must sign a form agreeing to abide by certain expectations.
Sources: Daily Mail, San Francisco Gate