DeFabio v. E. Hampton Union Free Sch. Dist., No. 09-4407 - U.S. Second Circuit
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DeFabio v. E. Hampton Union Free Sch. Dist., No. 09-4407

First Amendment Case Involving Student

In DeFabio v. E. Hampton Union Free Sch. Dist., No. 09-4407, a case involving a student's assertion of a First Amendment right to return to school and make a statement disavowing a racial slur attributed to him, wherein plaintiff alleged violations of a student's rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process and equal protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as related state law claims, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendants where the school officials alleged to have violated the student's rights were entitled to qualified immunity from such claims where the record demonstrated a significant probability that the student would be assaulted were he permitted to return to school and deliver his message.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiffs Daniel and Patricia DeFabio appeal from a September 30, 2009, judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Bianco, J.), granting defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of Daniel's rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process and equal protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as related state law claims. We hold that in a case involving a student's assertion of a First Amendment right to return to school and make a statement disavowing a racial slur attributed to him, the school officials alleged to have violated the student's rights were entitled to qualified immunity from such claims where the record demonstrates a significant probability that the student would be assaulted were he permitted to return to school and deliver his message."

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