‘Win for all students’: FSU settles discrimination lawsuit with student government official

Florida State University settled a First Amendment lawsuit involving a former student government official.

The student official received a monetary settlement from the university after being ousted from his position for expressing his religious views.

Alliance Defending Freedom announced that Jack Denton, former student senate president at Florida State University, reached a $95,000 settlement with the school after being removed from his position in June 2020. 

Denton was ousted after expressing religious objections to the ACLU and the Black Lives Matter organization. The $95,000 comprises $10,000 for “damages” and $85,000 for “attorneys’ fees.”

Denton says in an ADF video that “one member of the group chat asked us to financially support organizations that advanced causes that were contrary to our Catholic faith.” He stated that the ACLU’s advocacy for abortion and BLM’s advocacy for transgender issues conflicted with his Catholic faith. 

[RELATED: FSU Supreme Court reinstates student senate president, acknowledges First Amendment violations]

ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit against the school and members of the student senate after university officials refused to address the violation of Denton’s First Amendment freedoms, according to the press release. 

Denton was then reinstated in December 2020 by the Student Supreme Court. 

Interim Assistant Vice President for University Communications Dennis Schnittker referred Campus Reform to a May 26 statement from the university affirming the university’s commitment to protecting students’ First Amendment rights.  

Logan Spena, legal counsel at ADF, told Campus Reform the settlement was a “win for all students.” 

“Jack Denton’s win is a win for all students who want to freely express their views on college campuses. No one should be forced to silence their core beliefs just to keep a job, and we are grateful that Florida State University has finally recognized that.”

[RELATED: Students remove ‘racist’ Catholic student body president for not supporting leftist groups]

Campus Reform reached out to Jack Denton for further comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ashleyecarnahan