Kellogg School District Settles Lawsuit, Required to Take First Amendment Training

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

KELLOGG, Idaho – The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) released an announcement stating they were able to reach a settlement on behalf of Travis Lohr, a Kellogg High School senior who was subjected to punishment from school officials for stating “guys are guys, girls are girls, there is no in between” at a school assembly.

“I didn’t direct it at any groups or anything like that; it was just something I chose to say in the moment,” Lohr told media outlets in 2023, adding that his peers responded with an “uproar of cheers.” 

The action taken by school officials to suspend Lohr for his comments and prevent him from participating in his high school graduation ceremony was widely reported. When Lohr’s story unfolded, there was a large public outcry which included a student-led protest that drew parents, and community members and garnered national attention. According to PJI, the circumstances also led to the loss of a career opportunity with the federal government which had previously been offered to him.

Student-led protest on Travis Lohr’s behalf in the spring of 2023. (Screenshot image from Public Freedom YouTube Channel.)

“The federal lawsuit filed by PJI sought relief for this student who suffered for stating his own viewpoint on a hotly contested subject. Mr. Lohr’s settlement includes monetary compensation, required First Amendment training for defendant Kellogg Joint School District, and removal of this incident from his school records,” stated the announcement.

The institute’s Idaho staff attorney Kate Hartley represented Lohr. “What happened in this small community could now happen anywhere. This is why PJI has expanded nationwide, with offices in both blue and red states. We are honored to have vindicated Travis in his courageous stand,” noted Hartley.

Brad Dacus, the President and Founder of PJI, added that, “The First Amendment to the Constitution protects individuals from such blatant government hostility to those wishing to express potentially unpopular viewpoints. We at PJI are committed to defending such constitutionally protected expression. We are thrilled with this outcome for our client and hope it sends a message that viewpoint discrimination on this subject and others in public schools is unconstitutional.”

In 2023, Lohr told Fox News Channel host Rachel Campos-Duffy on Fox & Friends, “What I said I believe in, and I stand by it.”

The amount of the monetary compensation remains confidential as part of the settlement agreement.