ALBUQUERQUE (CN) – Two black brothers say Valley High School suspended them and threatened them with expulsion on bogus charges of “throwing gang signs” after a football game. The brothers say the signs they “threw” to friends were a peace sign and the well-known “hook ’em Longhorns” sign.
Dana and Donavan Delouth say that only after their parents challenged the suspension did the school add charges – also bogus – alleging verbal assault.
The family seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, expungement of the brothers’ records, and wants the faculty and staff enjoined from taking further disciplinary actions for the incident.
The Delouths point out that the “hook ’em Longhorns” hand sign, which Dana made, “is used by many people in many circumstances; for example when he was President, George W. Bush gave the sign during a photograph session with Laura Bush and the Queen and King of England. See http://www.prisonplanet.com/Pictures/may07/100507Diablo.jpg.”
They add that the “peace sign,” which Donovan made, is “universally accepted as a gesture of peace, good will, and nonviolence.”
They are represented in Federal Court by Brendan Egan with the ACLU.