Student settles suit over Web site suspension

Attorneys for both sides refuse to talk about agreement

ARKANSAS -- Valley View School District officials settled a federal lawsuit in August filed by a student suspended for the content of his personal Web site, but all parties involved have refused to release the details of the agreement.   Justin Redman, a ninth-grader when he posted the site from his home computer May 7, was suspended for the last 10 days of the school year after school officials discovered the site, which contained sexually explicit pictures and remarks critical of the school's administrators, staff and four other students. The suspension caused Redman to miss all his final exams, leading him to fail the ninth grade.   The announcement of the settlement followed the second day of testimony in U.S. District Judge George Howard's courtroom. Howard had already issued a temporary restraining order against the school district, forcing them to allow the Jonesboro teen-ager to make up all his missed classwork and exams.   The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, which filed the suit on Redman's behalf, released a statement after the settlement saying now "the educational process can continue."   Redman returned to school Aug. 21 as a 10th grader.

reports, Winter 2000-01