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A Ninth Circuit panel ruled March 17 that school employees did violate the First Amendment rights of the owner of Oak Glen’s Riley’s American Heritage Farms when they canceled field trips due to political comments he made, but that the defendants cannot be held for damages because his right was not clearly established.

James Riley claimed the Claremont Unified School District, three school administrators and the school board infringed on his free speech rights.

The appellate panel affirmed the California Central District Court’s dismissal of Riley’s claim for damages because the defendants held qualified immunity from certain legal claims due to them being government employers. 

The panel also

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