Edina Young Conservatives Club’s Lawsuit Against the District Settled


Zoe Cheung

Edina Young Conservatives Club’s lawyer Erick Kaardal announced the filing of the lawsuit at press conference on Dec. 7.

Will Schwinghammer, head staff writer

The Edina High School Young Conservatives Club’s lawsuit against the school district, Principal Andy Beaton, and Superintendent John Schultz was settled out of court, according to a district statement released Thursday. The district’s attorney, Trevor Helmers, urged the district to settle the case during a closed school board meeting held on Mar. 1.

The statement also denies several of the allegations made in the lawsuit, such as claims that the district actively supported students protesting the Veterans Day assembly and district intentionally had American flags removed from classrooms. The district claims that, because the YCC never filed for official club status, they couldn’t be officially disbanded. Upon filing for official status, they were approved.

According to the statement, the district filed a motion to have the case dismissed by the court, but decided to settle due to the costs of litigation and out of “the spirit of cooperation.” Edina Public Schools admitted to no wrongdoing, paid no damages, and will not change their practices as a result of this suit, but they have made a revision to their club policy.

The policy has been amended to say that revocation of club status “may not be based solely upon the exercise of free speech,” according the settlement agreement, unless “that conduct interferes with the school’s basic educational mission.” The settlement also specifically states that if Student Council suggests USA Day for a spirit week theme, the district “will not object” to its inclusion.

Helmers’ statement at the board meeting and the official district statement on the matter can both be found on the district’s website, as linked here (School Board approves settlement agreement dismissing lawsuit filed by Young Conservatives Club).