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Schools Suppressing Student Free Speech

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Schools suppressing student free speech.

Summary: The two articles are about the debate between weather a school has the right to suppress and undermine a student freedom of speech. In the first article "Supreme Court Hears Student speech Case" (Bravin 1). Joseph Frederick an 18 year old senior from Alaska, hoisted a 14 foot banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" across the street from there high school, while watching the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay. The principle of the Alaskan school Deborah Morse ripped the 14 foot banner down when she noticed what it at said. Ms. Morse, who is backed by the school board, saw that the sign was pro-drug and then suspended Mr. Frederick for 10 days. Ms. Morse who was taken to the ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals lost her case because her actions where not justified by the student freedom of speech landmark decision. Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler says "A school does not have to tolerate a message that is inconsistent with its basic educational mission" (Bravin 1). In article two "High Court considers student censorship limits" (Dlouhy 4A). Ms. Morse was sued by Frederick in the federal court and lost. The judge sided with Ms. Morse and stated that "The Olympic relay was effectively a school-sponsored event and the principle had the right to regulate Frederick's plainly offensive speech". (Dlouhy 4A). After losing

case one he then appealed it and won his next case.

Response: Should k-12 school administrators have the right to suppress student speech if they think it undermines official school messages? I believe that it undermines school policy in certain situations but not all of them. Schools have the right to suppress and take care of any problems if need be but, when something occurs not on school ground I don't think they could get involved, even if its across the street from



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