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For any 2 of these scenarios, argue one side of the case. You may defend the school’s act of censorship—that is, argue that the school’s action is legal.

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Presentation on theme: "For any 2 of these scenarios, argue one side of the case. You may defend the school’s act of censorship—that is, argue that the school’s action is legal."— Presentation transcript:

1 For any 2 of these scenarios, argue one side of the case. You may defend the school’s act of censorship—that is, argue that the school’s action is legal and constitutional. Or you may take the plaintiff’s (the student’s) case and argue that the school’s actions are not constitutional. ● All of the incidents occurred in an American public high school. ● In every case, the student was suspended, so censorship occurred. ● In every case, the student is suing to have the suspension taken off his record. A typical argument will be 2-4 sentences long, or more. It should argue that certain cases apply and certain others do not. To succeed, your argument must deal properly with the cases and tests, and argue intelligently about which case applies and which parts of the speech matter and which do not. Do not offer irrelevant observations or opinions. Restrict your argument to legal principles and cases. Cite the cases properly. Check your spelling and your logic carefully. Refer to the documents on my website if you are uncertain or confused. Turn in two by the end of class Friday.

2 1. T-shirt worn after warning by administration. One teacher complained that the shirt was “drug-related” but no other response in school. Student suspended for three days. Student sues to have the suspension removed from his record.

3 2. A cheerleading squad made the shirts as part of a fundraiser for breast cancer research after the mother of one of the students was diagnosed with breast cancer. Administrators told students that they couldn’t wear or sell the shirts in school. Students sued for the right to wear and sell the shirts. No disruption was reported. Several other organizations had sold t-shirts for fundraisers in the school in the past year.

4 3. Student wore the shirt in school. Several students complained, describing the shirt as “disrespectful,” “mean”, and “anti- Christian.” There were discussions in the hall, some heated, but no major disruption to learning environment. Administrator first asked then ordered student not to wear the shirt again. Student pointed out that religious students frequently wore shirts with religious slogans, but agreed not to wear the shirt. One week later, 41 of his classmates wore black shirts that said in white block letters, “Jesus Lives and Punishes Non-Believers.” Informed in advance of this, the student wore his “God is Dead” t-shirt. He was suspended for four days. He sued the school on a First Amendment basis.

5 4. A high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance determined that their members smoked at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the student body. The group created this t-shirt as part of a campaign to get gay students to stop smoking. The shirt was worn in school several times before administrators objected and threatened the students with suspension of they wore it again. The Gay-Straight Alliance had been functioning in this school for over a decade without friction. The shirt did not cause any disruption. After failing to persuade the administration that the shirt was not derogatory or offensive, these two students wore the shirt again, were suspended, and sued on First Amendment grounds, arguing that the suspension was a violation of their right to free speech.

6 5. Student wore a button with this design in school. He was suspended for violating the school’s drug abuse policy. Student sued, arguing that the suspension violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

7 6. A student and wore this t-shirt on the same day that the school’s Gay Straight Alliance held their annual “Day of Silence”. Nearly half of the student body participated in “Day of Silence” activities, including wearing t-shirts and buttons calling for greater tolerance of gay students, lifting of bans on gay marriage, and ending policies that prevented gays from serving in the military. The t-shirt’s logo is for Ezekiel, a religious organization for high school students that is ardently opposed to equal rights for homosexuals. The student was stopped by an administrator and told to remove the tape on the shirt or face suspension. He refused and was suspended. He sued on First Amendment grounds.

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