J.A. v. Luna
The Dhillon Law Group filed a complaint on behalf of J.A., a middle school student, against San Diego Unified School District (“SDUSD”) officials. After J.A. wore eye black to a high school football game, Muirlands Middle School Principal Jeff Luna baselessly accused J.A. of wearing ‘blackface’ and suspended and banned J.A. from all school sporting events for an ‘intent to harm’.
During the suspension process, Principal Luna did not provide any evidence to support this accusation, and other SDUSD school officials rubber-stamped Luna’s decision without any proof of racist intent and without following proper suspension procedures. The lawsuit claims Luna and other school district Defendants violated J.A.’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, particularly his right to protected expressive conduct.
“Without a speck of evidence to support his outlandish claims, J.A.’s principal found J.A. guilty of intentionally causing hate violence, a criminal act punishable by imprisonment in California courts,” said Dhillon Law Group Counsel Karin Sweigart. “J.A. is guilty of nothing more than showing team spirit by wearing a well-known style of eye black, like hundreds of fans and professional athletes before him. The accusations against J.A. would be comical if they weren’t so hurtful and damaging to his future.”
School officials shouldn’t sacrifice their students’ futures on the altar of cancel culture,” said Harmeet Dhillon, DLG Managing Partner. “No reasonable person would believe that a middle school kid wearing athletic eye black intended to intimidate anyone or send a racist message. These baseless allegations do nothing but tarnish an innocent student’s reputation and jeopardize his educational future.”