After an Eight-Year Legal Battle, Former College Student Wins $900,000 in Free Speech Case

July 24, 2015

By Maria Santos at Red Alert Politics

A former college student has been vindicated in a long-running free speech case, winning a $900,000 settlement from the school that kicked him out over a Facebook post eight years ago.

In 2007, Valdosta State University (VSU) student Hayden Barnes was protesting the building of two new campus parking garages.

Barnes, a passionate environmentalist, posted a parody picture to his Facebook page of the “Zacarri Memorial Parking Garage”—“Zacarri” being the last name of then-VSU president Ronald Zacarri.

Barnes meant the joke as a prod at Zacarri’s boasts about the garage being a “legacy” project for his presidency. But Zacarri claimed it was a death threat, and promptly expelled Barnes from the school for presenting a “clear and present danger...

Schools: Valdosta State University Cases: Valdosta State University: Student Expelled for Peacefully Protesting Parking Garages