NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Mississippi student was exercising his free speech rights when he posted a rap song online that criticized two coaches whom he accused of misconduct toward female students, his attorneys have told a federal appeals court.
However, school officials in Itawamba County, Miss., say Taylor Bell knew he would cause a major disruption at school once the rap song reached his Facebook friends and was posted on YouTube.
The accusations against the coaches were never substantiated.
Taylor Bell was suspended for seven days and assigned to an alternative school for more than a month over the music video. He appealed the suspension.
A federal judge in Mississippi upheld the suspension. Oral arguments were heard Monday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.