On April 24, according to the lawsuit, school officials told Doninger and the other student council officers that a “Jamfest” scheduled for April 28 could not be held in the school auditorium because there was not a staff member available to run new equipment. The event is an annual battle of the bands organized by the student council in which local musicians perform for the community, according to the complaint.
Another student council member sent an electronic mail message that day to high school parents and students, encouraging them to call the school board for Region 10, which covers Harwinton and Burlington, to express support for Jamfest. Doninger was among four students to sign that message, but it was drafted and sent by another student, according to the lawsuit.
When Doninger encountered Niehoff in the school hallway, the principal scolded her for the message and said the superintendent was angered by it and that Jamfest might be canceled, the lawsuit says.
Later that night, about 9:25 p.m., Doninger used her personal computer to post the entry on the blog.
“Jamfest is canceled due to the douchbags in central office. Here is an e-mail that we sent out to a ton of people and asked them to forward to everyone in their address book to help get support for Jamfest,” she wrote. “Basically, because we sent it out, Paula Schwartz is getting a TON of phone calls and e-mails and such. We have so much support and we really appreciate it. However, she got pissed off and decided to just cancel the whole thing all [sic] together.”
A few weeks later, on May 17, Doninger went to the school office to accept her nomination for class secretary. Niehoff handed a copy of the blog entry to Doninger and told her to apologize to Schwartz, tell her mother about the blog entry, resign as class secretary and withdraw her candidacy, according to the lawsuit.
Avery said she apologized and told her mother, but would not resign or withdraw. Niehoff then dismissed her from the post and barred her from running for the office, according to the lawsuit.
My goodness. Spellcheck aside, it certainly is problematic to imagine the outcome of this case decision after the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case or how it might, say, affect the future of the internet itself. What would Wesleying be if it lost the right to point out douchebags at will? Blogging is freedom! Calling people douchebags is freedom! We support you, Avery Doninger!