I graduated in the late 90s and was a straight A student. I'm sure i pushed a few boundaries but other than a few "i'll pretend i didn't see that" responses from teachers nobody really seemed to mind.
If what you say is true then i'm sure the district will have lots of comparable examples to draw on. However, my gut feeling is that someone made the decision of "he's fucking with us, let's teach this little shit a lesson". They acted like the children in this situation and are now going to have to defend that in court against someone who claims that they did it because of his race.
I think he's in the right (though certainly not $15M in the right), however I feel firmly that the school district is in the wrong and frowning on this kind of tinkering is a massive blow to that whole generation.