FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) – A former high school newspaper adviser who was removed after the paper printed a story about a student being charged with murder stands to collect $74,000 to settle his federal lawsuit against the school district.

The lawsuit claimed the school district violated Chad Tuley’s First Amendment rights by removing him as adviser after the story appeared.

Tuley, 26, hopes to return to the classroom next fall and eventually to oversee another student newspaper – but not in Franklin Township Schools.

A settlement finalized this week bars him from ever applying for a job in the school district.

Tuley will remain on paid leave until May 30, when his resignation takes effect. After that, the district will pay an additional $40,000.

The district suspended Tuley with pay Nov. 12 after the newspaper printed the story about a 17-year-old junior who was arrested at school on charges he fatally stabbed and beat a 67-year-old man.

A letter from the school district cited insubordination as the reason for the suspension.

District officials said the story should not have been published partly because the sister of the student who was arrested still attended the school in southeastern Marion County. They also said Principal Kevin Koers had directed Tuley not to print it.

Tuley disagreed, saying Koers expressed concern beforehand but did not bar Tuley from publishing the story. Tuley also said then that he felt the story was newsworthy and that students were talking about the arrest.

Franklin schools Superintendent E.B. Carver has said Tuley lacked a proper journalism teaching license and that his removal from the adviser position was because of his conduct – not the story.

“This was never about a First Amendment right,” Carver said this week. “It was a personnel issue. Any time you settle for money, you’re never too strong about your First Amendment rights.”

Tuley and his attorney, Ed DeLaney, declined to respond specifically to that comment, citing a clause in the agreement barring any statements about the matter.

The settlement agreement also prohibits either side from releasing it publicly unless required by law. The Indianapolis Star obtained a copy Tuesday after sending a public records request to the school district.

Dennis Cripe, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association, has supported Tuley in his lawsuit.

“Saying this case wasn’t about the First Amendment is like saying the American Revolution wasn’t about freedom,” Cripe said.

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