Essay On First Amendment In School

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While visiting the Newseum, we were shown many court cases revolving around the First Amendment. These cases ranged from people starting religious clubs in schools to the question if schools could punish students for wearing their hair in funky hairstyles or colors. Two important cases that stuck out to me and that I found interesting were the “Board of Education of Westside Community School vs. Mergens” and “Morse vs. Frederick”. Both of these cases had different outcomes, yet entailed the same concept of free speech. Student’s rights and free speech have been a common issue on what should be said and what should not be said. Barrack Obama once said, “We have to uphold a free press and freedom of speech. Because, in the end, lies and misinformation are no match for the…show more content…
Frederick”, is another case regarding free speech that happened not too long ago in 2007. At Juneau-Douglas High school a senior, Joseph Frederick, had made a banner stating “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” during the Olympic Torch Relay in Juneau, Alaska. This event was part of a school supervised activity in which that case the principal of the school, Deborah Morse, ordered Frederick to dismiss the banner, because it could accentuate as advocating illegal drug activity. Frederick refused to put the banner away and claimed it was a prank, in which then Morse took the banner off him and suspended him for 10 days due to not following school policy. That school policy was advocating drugs. The U.S. District Court of Alaska did side with the school’s administration at the trial, because administrators do have the ride to punish students for speech advocating illegal drug use. However, Chief Justice, John Roberts argued that students do not give up all their First Amendment rights when they enter into school (Mears). The verdict ended up being 6:3 votes in favor of the school. Although close in votes, unfortunately Joseph Frederick’s free speech was not protected in this school
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