In the standoff between Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and a high school student, the Kansas governor blinked first. Brownback issued a statement this afternoon apologizing to Emma Sullivan, the 18-year old high school student who was unconstitutionally ordered to write a letter of apology after she sent a tweet criticizing the governor. According to Brownback’s statement, “my staff over-reacted to this tweet and for that I apologize.” He added that “freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”
Sullivan’s high school also released a statement indicating she will not be punished for exercising her First Amendment rights:
The Shawnee Mission East senior decided to not write the apology letter and the school district issued a statement Monday saying there would be no repercussions.
“Whether and to whom any apologies are issued will be left to the individuals involved,” the statement said. “The issue has resulted in many teachable moments concerning the use of social media. The district does not intend to take any further action on this matter.”