CHICAGO (CBS) — The families of six girls who claimed their school district in Barrington defamed them over a picture captioned “KKK” have dropped their lawsuit against the district.
The lawsuit claimed the district overstepped its bounds by telling the Barrington High School girls they would have to agree to be questioned by a co-curricular committee. Families said that violated their right to free speech. District 220 officials, however, denied that claim.
The picture captioned “KKK” was taken at a “white out” party in July, not at the school. The photo depicts eight white girls posing in white clothes with their hands raised over their heads, which some say gives the appearance of Ku Klux Klan hoods.
The photo quickly ignited a social media firestorm, and has since been shared and retweeted thousands of times. Some began to pressure the district to take action.
Heather Hollaar wrote on Facebook that the district had a right to investigate, adding, “They’re not 8 and 9-year-olds. They’re teenagers — they should have known better.”
Hollaar went on to say that she thought the lawsuit was “really stupid.”
“I’ve always told my son any picture you put out there is going to be passed on everywhere. You can’t control it after that — a good lesson that once a picture is shared, it takes on a life of its own.”
Barrington 220 School District Superintendent Brian Harris previously issued a written statement saying the district “does not condone the actions of the students in the photo and the matter is under investigation. Once the investigation is complete, we will determine the appropriate consequences, according to our student handbook and board policy.”
Families of six of the eight girls in the photo withdrew the lawsuit Monday in federal court.