Free Speech Suit Settled in Massachusetts School Bullying Case

February 29, 2012

A Massachusetts man has settled a federal lawsuit that claimed his free speech rights were violated when he was removed from a public meeting where he criticized school officials’ handling of the case of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after allegedly being bullied by other high school students.

An attorney for Luke Gelinas of South Hadley announced the $75,000 settlement Monday. Gelinas sued in 2010, saying he was improperly ejected from a South Hadley school committee meeting when he criticized officials for the death of Irish immigrant Phoebe Prince, which gained international attention.

The lawsuit named Edward Boisselle, then school committee chairman, and two police officers.

Gelinas said in a statement his lawsuit was about “social justice, which has been served.”

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