Covington Catholic students launch new suit against media, others

Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 8:05 PM EST
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PARK HILLS, Ky. (FOX19) - A group of Covington Catholic students are following Nicholas Sandmann’s lead in filing a federal lawsuit against several media outlets and others.

Court documents filed Tuesday by the students show they are seeking damages.

The accusations include charges that the students were harassed and threatened in connection with their January 2019 visit to Washington D.C for the March for Life.

The lawsuit claims “(T)he students were defamed, had their privacy invaded and that false coverage led to death threats and personal attacks.”

The suit is being brought against CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, several reporters and a New York doctor the suit claims made several disparaging remarks on Twitter. In one tweet, the doctor reportedly posted a ‘wanted’ poster that showed the faces of dozens of Covington Catholic students. The tweet carried the hashtag ‘#convingtonshame.’

The lawsuit also provides several examples of journalists’ social media posts, including a post from New York Times reported Maggie Haberman saying it would be interesting to see if anyone is actually expelled.

Another post by writer and civil rights activist Shaun King said kids in ‘MAGA’ hats surrounded and mocked a beloved Native American elder.

Last year, Sandmann sued CNN, the Washington Post and NBC Universal after a video went viral last year showing an encounter between Sandmann and Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

Sandmann is not a party to his classmates’ lawsuit, but there are similarities.

“People are taking the freedom of speech and turning it into hate speech,” Nicholas Sandmann’s father, Ted, said in March 2019. "It's not right."

Sandmann’s suit seeks $800 million.

CNN reportedly agreed to a settlement in that suit in January, though the settlement’s dollar figure was not disclosed.

The amount the students are seeking in their suit has not been released.

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