Miss. student challenges suspension over rap song

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Associated Press

Posted on November 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys for a Mississippi student suspended after posting a rap song online that derided the Itawamba County schools say the music video was protected free speech.

In documents filed ahead of a Dec. 3 hearing before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, attorneys for Taylor Bell say the school's authority over what students do ends "at the schoolhouse gate."

Bell and his mother are appealing a Mississippi federal judge's ruling that the Itawamba Agricultural High School's decision to suspend Bell was correct.

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. said in his March ruling that Bell's song's lyrics caused a disruption at school.

School officials say Bell knew the song would create a disruption at the school.

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