Cape Elizabeth School Committee appeals ruling blocking student's suspension over 'rapist in our school' sticky note

By  | 

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (WMTW) - The Cape Elizabeth School Committee announced Friday that it has appealed a federal judge's ruling temporarily blocking the suspension of a high school student who posted sticky notes at school that said, "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is."

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine sued the school district on behalf of the student, Aela Mansmann.

U.S. District Judge Lance Walker said in his ruling that there was enough evidence to suggest that Mansmann would prevail in a civil lawsuit against the school district.

Mansmann was issued a three-day suspension because the school district said the notes violated the high school's anti-bullying policy. She has not served her suspension. Two other students were also suspended but haven't come forward.

The School Committee said it was appealing the decision because it feels schools must be able "address statements by students that are likely to spread fear and alarm or to harm others as was the case with the statement involved in this case."

The School Committee said in a statement that the judge's ruling would have a chilling effect on school officials' ability to "keep schools safe and will deter schools from acting promptly to identify and remove dangers or threats from the schools."