An Oct. 2, 2006, trial date has been scheduled for Webb City High School junior LaStaysha Myers' First Amendment lawsuit against R-7 school officials.
A scheduling order signed by Judge Gary Fenner was filed in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Friday. The order says that:
-Any motion to add parties must be filed on or before Aug. 1, 2005
-Any motions to amend the pleadings must be made on or before Oct. 1, 2005.
-All discovery motions must be filed on or before Nov. 10, 2005.
-All pretrial discovery must be completed on or before Dec. 10, 2005.
Ms. Myers has until July 10 to designated any expert witnesses she might call, while R-7 officials have until Aug. 10. Each sides will provide affidavits from each expert witness which will include "a complete statement of all opinions to be expressed and the basis and reason therefore, the data or other information considered by the witness in forming the opinions, any exhibits to be used in a summary of or support for the opinions, the qualifications of the witness (including a list of all publications authored by the witness within the preceding 10 years), the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony, and a listing of any other cases in which the witness has testified as an expert at trial or by deposition with the preceding four years."
A final pre-trial conference for the case will be held 2:30 p.m. Sept. 1, 2006, according to the scheduling order.
Rules for the trial were also filed by Judge Fenner.
The scheduling order indicates the judge has rejected the request by Ms. Myers' attorneys that all depositions, discovery, and motions be moved up and the trial held in August to keep Ms. Myers from having her First Amendment rights violated during the 2005-2006 school year.
Ms. Myers, as regular readers of The Turner Report are aware, filed suit last spring against R-7 Superintendent Ron Lankford, High School Principal Steven Gollhofer, and Assistant Principal Jeff Thornberry, claiming her First Amendment right to freedom of expression was violated when she was one of a dozen students who were sent home after refusing to change gay pride T-shirts they were wearing in support of fellow student Brad Mathewson.
Mathewson earlier had been told to change gay pride T-shirts he wore and filed a similar lawsuit against the school district, which was later dismissed after he dropped out of school.
More details about Ms. Myers' lawsuit can be found in earlier editions of The Turner Report.