WILLISTON, ND — A group of elementary students say their First Amendment rights are being threatened by teachers who are trying to deter them from signing a petition meant to garner support for a fired janitor, according to The Republic.
The petition is in support of Manuel Aguilera, a janitor who was fired by the district in April under the argument that he was "confrontational to other staff," the article stated.
According to the article, the students and their families say students are only collecting signatures during breaks as agreed with the superintendent, but teachers are allegedly using a variety of tactics to deter signers, including saying the students cannot sign the petition because they are under the age of 18.
"They're scared to sign the petition. One kid wouldn't sign because teachers told him he couldn't unless he was 18," said Sabrina Hanson, one of the students collecting signatures.
Aguilera was allegedly fired for being "argumentative and confrontational, but specific events are not mentioned," the article noted.
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