Vero Beach High Class President Candidate Disqualified For Satirical Speech

Student stripped of class presidency after speech jokingly used themes from the 2016 presidential election

A Vero Beach High School student running for senior class president was disqualified from the race and received detention after delivering an impromptu, 90-second satirical speech that his principal didn't find funny.

JP Krause was running for senior class president back in April and was in class when his peers started chanting "speech, speech!" and his teacher gave him the opportunity to speak, Krause told NBC affiliate WPTV.

While referring to his opponent in the election, Krause joked, "She will expand the government so you will not be able to do anything" and "she will raise taxes 80 percent."

Krause also said his opponent would "likely create a dress code" and turned to popular themes in the 2016 election, telling the class that "she represents Sebastian River High School. What I propose is that we build a wall between here and Sebastian River, and we make Sebastian River pay for it."

"Like Trump did during his campaign," Krause said.

Krause won the vote the next day, but Shawn O’Keefe, the school principal, wrote in a letter that the speech "created a situation of public humiliation," according to WPTV.

He was disqualified from the race and was given detention instead.

The Pacific Legal Foundation learned about the consequences and is providing Krause with free legal counsel. Senior Attorney Mark Miller requested that the Indian River County School District name Krause class president.

"What JP was doing was engaged in the most basic first amendment protected speech, which is pure political speech," Miller told WPTV. "What they did was violate his constitutional rights."

Krause’s mom, Angela Krause, is concerned that the harassment allegations will affect his collegiate career. Nonetheless, the school’s decision shocked Krause.

"I just never thought that this could happen," he said.

WPTV reached out to the school district for comment but hasn't heard back.

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