Senior barred from attending graduation receives $150,000 in lawsuit settlement

TEXAS — A high school senior barred from attending his own graduationagreed to a $150,000 settlement with his school district in May.

Former Midland High School student Casey Riggan was not allowed to goto his graduation after he refused to turn over a photograph taken of hisprincipal’s car outside a female teacher’s house over a year ago. Schooladministrators accused Riggan of being disrespectful and fostering rumorsand ordered him to apologize.

Riggan refused to apologize and instead filed a lawsuit against theMidland Independent School District. Midland principal Neil Richmond respondedby placing Riggan in an alternative school for students with behavior problems.Riggan finished the school year there, but wanted to participate in Midland’sgraduation ceremony with the rest of his friends and classmates. Riggan’smother, Gail Riggan, told the Associated Press that her son was the firstfamily member in six generations to graduate from high school.

The school district’s $150,000 settlement offer came after a federaljudge denied the district’s motion for summary judgment in January, accordingto Riggan’s attorney, Brian Carney.

Carney said the settlement “adequately represented the damage that [theschool district] had caused.”

“It was good for Casey to be able to get this thing behind him and goon to college,” Carney said. “[The settlement] not only compensated Caseyand allowed him to go on with his life it emphasized the severity of whatthey did and how bad it was.”

Carney said the money Riggan received in the settlement will help himpay for his college education. Riggan currently attends Midland JuniorCollege.