The family of a Wisconsin teenager filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department for threatening to arrest him if he would not take down the Instagram COVID-19 post associated with him.
Amyiah Cohoon, a 16-year-old student at Westfield Area High School in Westfield, Wisconsin, began to feel sick a few days after a school trip to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida in early March.
Symptoms – are consistent with COVID-19, a disease caused by CCP virus, also known as the new coronavirus – became so bad that he had to be taken to hospital with severe respiratory problems.
Initially, he could not be tested due to lack of proper testing tools. However, medics treated him as a COVID-19 patient and gave him oxygen. Then, on March 25, he tested negative for the CCP virus, but doctors assumed it was because the window of time for positive testing for the virus might have passed. Furthermore, they said, the test was not 100 percent reliable.
Amyiah posted three times on Twitter about her condition, urging her classmates to stay inside and be tested if necessary; one time to tell his classmates he was sick and went to quarantine himself, once from the hospital, said he might have to stay in the emergency room, and once with a photo of him wearing an oxygen mask.
However, the school district was not happy with Amyiah’s honest revelation on social media about her illness and sent letters to all parents who tried to calm down concerns about their children getting the virus too.
“Let me assure you that there is NO truth in this,” the message by the Westfield School District Administrator Bob Meicher read, according to to Reason.com. “This is a stupid way to get attention, and the source of rumors has been responded to,” added Weicher.
When federal courts refuse to draw reasonable limits and allow schools to play 24/7 “police good behavior online,” violations are inevitable. However, if these allegations are true, they are amazing. https://t.co/erutduVCxZ
– Frank LoMonte (@FrankLoMonte) April 17, 2020
Even worse, on March 17, Sergeant Patrol Cameron Klump of the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department attended the Cohoon family home in Oxford, Wisconsin. He ordered on behalf of Sheriff Joseph Konrath that Amyiah immediately took an Instagram post, or he would “start taking people to prison,” because of erratic behavior.
Amyiah acknowledged, afraid that she or anyone in her family might eventually be arrested. However, then the family decided to consult with the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Freedom who filed the lawsuit[[[[pdf]on Thursday in the name of the family, opposing the representative’s behavior was a violation of the first amendment, Amyiah’s free speech.
The agency demanded a written apology from the public and a guarantee that Amyiah would not be disabled and could report back on her experience with the disease on social media if she wanted.
Sam Hall, a lawyer for the sheriff, said Amyiah “caused distress and panic” among other parents by claiming she had a corona virus while being tested negatively for the virus, The Sentinel reported.
Hall further argued, “This case is no more than the 2020 version screaming fire in a crowded theater,” referring to the historical example where First Amendment does not protect speech.
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