Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Test On The First Amendment In Public Schools. Another School Principal Screws Up The First Amendment.

Notice to all School Administrators Principals, Assistant Principal and Deans:

You shall make no rule...abridging the freedom of speech.

Question for all School Administrators, Principals, Assistant Principals and Deans:
What Part of NO do you not understand???

Okay okay, I am a First Amendment Free Speech absolutist. However, shy of a real disruption of classroom activities, or worse violence, being an almost foregone conclusion, you really cannot pass rules that limit the freedom of speech and expression of your students.

In today's latest edition of "How to cost the Taxpayers of my School District unnecessary money because I do not really understand the First Amendment of the constitution of the United States of America", the intrepid school administrators of Latta H. S. somewhere near Florence South Carolina, have suspended, disciplined and otherwise harassed high school sophomore Candice Hardwick, who in remembrance of her forefathers who fought for the South in the American Civil war, wants to wear the Confederate flag on her breast. Her Mom appears to be part of the Order of the Confederate Rose(South Carolina chapter) which seeks to preserve the "history" of the old South. (I may have been generous here in my description, they may still be fighting the war for all I know, but it really doesn't matter for our discussion today.)

Now go back and read this and this in preparation for today's remedial exam. [Update:link repaired] Alright sharpen your number 2 pencils and begin below:

Please answer: Yes or No

Question 1. Can the student wear a black arm band in school?

Question 2. Can she refuse to stand and or salute the American Flag during the pledge?

Question 3. Can she wear a shirt that says I hate President Bush on the day he comes to her school to speak?

Question 4. Can She carry a copy of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11 DVD and watch it on her laptop during lunch?

Question 5. Can she support the Iraqi invasion by covering her book bag with pro-government stickers?

Question 6. Can she yell "Fire" in a crowded cafeteria (this one is a trick question)

Question 7. Can she bring a banner into the High school Gym and unfurl it during the state championship basketball game that says "bongs 4 Jesus"?

Question 8. Can she wear colors of a local violent girl gang?

Question 9. Can she stand in front of the school assembly wearing a shirt that says "Fuck the SATs"?

Question 10. Can she wear the Confederate flag absent any proof that the same will end in violent or otherwise disruptive behavior?


1.Yes See the brief of Tinker v. Des Moines School District here. Again if the armband is otherwise disruptive there then the right to free
expression can be curtailed, but you better be really really sure.

2.Yes. In a 1943 decision, West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, the Supreme Court determined that a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses who objected to the flag salute and mandatory pledge recitation for religious reasons could not be forced to participate. (To read the whole answer click here

3.Yes. While schools can enforce a rule limiting the time place and manner of certain speech and expression, the rule must be content neutral.

4.Yes See 3. Above.

5.Yes. A variation on a theme. Just to see if you did your studying. If you got this wrong...Reread this.

6.No (unless the cafeteria is actually on fire)Scheck v. US was overruled by Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)however yelling fire in a crowded cafeteria would probable cause a panic or even imminent lawless action.

7.Yes This also was a test to see if you reread the prior posts on topic. This case was discussed at this post.

8.NO. See the Brandenburg case above.

9.NO. See Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986)(First
Amendment Center's case brief here.)

10.Yes. Yes! Yes!.

Actually there is an even better test than the one above. One that really tests your knowledge of the present state of affairs in school free speech cases. Take it by going here.

Stop persecuting free thinkers in America's High Schools. Learn the First Amendment.


matmaven said...

I loved this test! Boy, do I need to bone up on conlaw. Thanks for the education.

Christopher King said...

I "missed" 3 but only because I was giving the real answer :)

I did, however, miss 9.

I am a First Amendment scholar under attempted felony extortion indictment in New Hampshire for writing a Demand Letter and "threatening" a press conference about police abuse. My lawyers can't believe it. One of them is the former lead prosecutor, no less. The NAACP, for whom I was legal director, sold me out rather than face up to NH power structure.

American Tower Company is involved, too. It's all a mess. They got into my blawg and then blogger reversed that decision and reinstated the material because American Tower's scumbag lawyers lied to them and because I need it for my criminal defense.

Watch the movies.

Here's some posts, read the summary in the first post to understand what's happening.

The last one is a Richard Pryor post, which I now see ironically contains information about American Tower. I forgot about that!

I'm blogrolling you, I hope you return in kind =^.)