Oxford, Wis. – A federal judge has ruled in favor of a high school student who said she was threatened with jail if she did not withdraw her social media posts about her brush with Covid-1 last year.
Amy Cohen, then a sophomore, traveled to Florida for a spring break in 2020 with the Westfield Area High School band. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the students returned to Wisconsin on March 15 before the scheduled time.
Kohun posted on Instagram that he thought he was infected, was in the hospital and although he had a negative test, his doctors thought it was probably before. In a final post, he is wearing an oxygen mask and says he has defeated Kovid-1, and urges others to stay safe.
March 2, Marquette County Sheriff Sergeant. Cameron Clamp came to Cohen’s home and said that Sheriff Joseph Conrath had ordered the resignation because he did not believe there was any convincing case of Covid-1 of in the county.
Earlier in the day, the school deputy commissioner told parents that rumors that a student had contracted covid-1ed during a band trip were not “true”. “It’s a fool’s errand to get attention and the source of the rumor has been solved,” he told Kohun’s posts.
Kohun removed the posts but filed a lawsuit against Conrath and his deputy a month later.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig gave his brief verdict in the case.
“The First Amendment is not a game of toggling off and on for the government. This applies to times of peace and strife, “Ludwig wrote in the 1-page conclusion.” Although the defendants in this case may believe that their actions have worked better, that belief cannot deter them. The 16-year-old’s claim to remove the protected speech from his Instagram account violates the First Amendment.
Kohun and his parents were represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The decision shows that the right to freedom of speech will not disappear in an emergency, said Will Berg, deputy counsel for Will.
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“More importantly, law enforcement has no business controlling the social media posts of local teens,” Berg said.
In addition to an announcement that Conrath and Klump had violated their First Amendment rights, Kohun and his parents sought a ban on any allegations or prison threats in future social media posts about his Covid-1 sc fears.
Ludwig rejected the request for a ban, saying it was too broad and unnecessary in light of his order that Konrath and his deputy had violated Kohun’s right to freedom of speech.
Defendants tried to drop the lawsuit, saying there was a possible reason to accuse Klump of Kohl’s disorderly conduct because he believed his posts were “causing significant distress, anxiety, fear, anxiety and even panic among other citizens.”
Ludwig said the argument dramatically underestimated the analysis for possible reasons, and if accepted, freedom of speech would be protected. ” There was concern among them. “
And with regard to the defendants’ claim of immunity, Ludwig noted that this does not only apply to declaratory relief requests.
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