Teenagers Fight for School Reinstatement


Two Indiana students are suing to get back into school after they and two friends were expelled for making a movie about teddy bears that attack an imaginary teacher.

The problem is, that teacher had the same last name as a real teacher in the district.

Imaginary or not, the school district still considers it a threat.

The movie is billed by its teenage creators as a “South Park” inspired spoof of the 1980s horror film “The Puppet Master”.

School administrators say they consider the movie a threat, because a possessed character orders evil teddy bears to kill a fictional teacher with a real-life name.

"There's a teacher with the name of Clevenger that has the same last name as a teacher," explains Isaac Imel, Knightstown High School Sophmore.

In an often seen-in-the-movies moment, the real-life Clevenger learned of the movie from the school's principal, who learned of the movie from a parent.

When the County Prosecutor decided no laws were broken the teacher requested a protective order from police. School records show the students were then expelled for the rest of the school year.

"It's just like a nightmare 'cause I never expected anything like this," says Imel. "They say students are a priority at my school but, I mean, I just kind of feel like I’ve been taken advantage of."

With the help of the ACLU, one of the students with a minor role in the movie is suing the school corporation, to have his expulsion reversed.

"There's no threat in there. Nobody is threatening anybody's life. There's clearly no serious threat to harm anybody. There's no slander. These though are the things the school has claimed, and they're just not. Not in there," explains Jackie Suess, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. “It was, you know, their expressive activity that took place completely off of school grounds

Again, two of the boys are asking a federal judge in Indianapolis to be reinstated.


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