EVERETT, Wash. – A Washington high school student recently prevailed in a lawsuit filed against his school after officials repeatedly suspended him last year for preaching about his religious beliefs and distributing literature.

Cascade High School Student Michael Leal filed a federal lawsuit against Everett Public Schools last November, during his senior year, after school officials suspended him on three occasions for handing out religious pamphlets and preaching about God at school events, The Daily Herald reports.

On Aug. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas S. Ziggy resolved the case by ordering the district to expunge the suspensions from Leal’s academic record, ruled a portion of the school’s policy on printed materials illegal, and ordered Everett schools to pay the student a total of $120,683.26 in legal fees associated with the case.

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Leal was represented by the Sacramento, California-based Pacific Justice Institute’s Kevin Snider, who told the Daily Herald the judge’s ruling concludes the case unless district officials opt to appeal.

School officials told the media they’re unsure on their next move.

In the lawsuit, “Leal claimed his First Amendment right of free speech was being infringed upon by school district policies,” but school officials argued he violated school policies that prohibit disruptions during class time.

“Cascade High allowed Leal to preach near the statue of the school’s bear mascot, and in return Leal dropped the element of his suit saying his religious rights were being violated,” the news site reports.

District officials also argued that school policy limits when, where and the types of printed materials that can be distributed on campus, and Leal violated those policies because he did not personally author the pamphlets.

Zilly ruled the latter requirement illegal, but upheld the district’s right to control when and where the materials can be distributed – in this case only outside of the school entrances outside of instruction hours.

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“Everett schools superintendent says he’s disappointed the district has to pay legal fees since Leal did not prevail on all points,” the Associated Press reports.

The judge reduced the amount in legal reimbursement sought by Leal by 15 percent “because of the vagueness of some of the claims,” but added travel and other expenses before issuing his judgement, according to the Daily Herald.

District spokeswoman Mary Waggoner told the news site the payout will come from the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool, which also defended the district against the lawsuit.

“It is disappointing that the district’s insurance company is being held responsible for the full cost of the (sic) Michael Leal’s attorney fees – even though his attorneys did not prevail on all points for their client,” Everett superintendent Gary Cohn said in a prepared statement.

Several folks who learned about the payout online chastised school officials for wasting tax dollars on an obviously losing case.

“Oh goody! This means that all taxpayers in the state get to help foot the bill for the Everett school district’s stupidity,” Mike Levin posted to the Daily Herald. “Cases like this have been settled all over the country for decades. Those ‘big brains’ in the ESD should have been well aware of how this would turn out back when it started.”