Title and Citation Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser Supreme Court of the United States 1986 478 U.S. 675
Facts Fraser gave this speech on Apr 26, 1983 at a high school assembly: “I know a man who is firm-he’s firm in his pants, he’s firm in his shirt, his character is firm-but most….of all his belief in you, the students of Bethel, is firm. Jeff Kuhlman is a man who takes his point and pounds it in. If necessary, he’ll take an issue and nail it to the wall. He doesn’t attack things in spurts-he drives hard, pushing and pushing until finally-he succeeds.”
Facts It was a school sponsored program Speech was predetermined inappropriate by 2 teachers who warned not to give it He admitted to giving the speech and received 3 days suspension His Father brought the action to Western District Court of Washington for violation of 1 st amendment to free speech
Facts District Court held that the school violated the 1 st amendment Right to free speech Schools disruptive rule was unconstitutionally vague Student was banned from speaking at commencement and that was not a listed consequence-which violated 14 Amendment Due Process Clause 9th Circuit affirmed the District Court rulings
Issue Went to Supreme Court Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District was a non-disruptive passive expression. It did not concern speech or actions that intrude on the work of the school or the rights of other students.
Holdings Role and purpose of school is to instill fundamental values of habits and manners of civility. There is a balance between tolerating political and religious views and consideration to the sensibilities of others and socially appropriate behavior. Determination of improper manner of speech in a school rests with the school board
School Sponsored Expressive Activities Pages 123-130
Title and Citation Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court of United States 1988 484 U.S. 260 Student Publications-sexually suggestive, advocating drug use, and libel.
Facts School newspaper was written by the Journalism II class. Funded mostly by the school and partially from the sales of the paper A school is a forum for public expression only if a policy or practice opens it for indiscriminate use by the general public
Facts School board policy 348.51 states: “school sponsored publications are developed within the adopted curriculum and its educational implications in regular classroom activities.” District Court determined the teacher had exercised the authority to control the paper within the rules of responsible journalism
Issues Educators can exercise control over student expression to: Assure they learn the lessons the activity teaches Audience is not exposed to material inappropriate to the maturity level Views of speaker are not attributed to the school Ungrammatical, poorly written, inadequately researched, biased, prejudiced, vulgar or profane, or unsuitable for immature audiences are grounds for not printing material.
Holdings The reversed the decision of the circuit court in favor of the school
Legal Doctrine Vulgar, lewd, obscene, and offensive speech is governed by Frazer School sponsored speech is governed by Hazelwood Expression of social, political, and economic issues that may cause “material and substantial” disruption of the school is governed by Tinker
Significance McCann v. Fort Zumwalt School District 50F.Supp.2d 918 (MO.1999) Court upheld prohibiting a marching band from performing a song thought to promote illegal use of drugs
Significance Bannon v. Palm Beach County School District 387F. 3d 1208 (11 th Cir.2004) cert denied, 546. U.S. 811 (2005) Court stated murals by FCA occurred in context of a curricular activity and considered school sponsored. Use of explicit religious wording was unconstitutional.
Significance San Diego Committee Against Registration and the Draft v. Governing Board of Grossmont Union High School District 790 F.2d 1471 (9 th Cir. 1986) Advertising in a school creates a limited public forum if opened to the public Court ruled against school because school had allowed other elements of political speech
Planned Parenthood v. Clark County School District 941 f.2d 817 Same Court 5 years later Ruled against Planned Parenthood because a non- public forum was established and the content would be controversial to the school mission
Yeo v. Town of Lexington 131 F. 3d 241 (1 st Cir. 1997), cert Denied 524 U.S. 904 (1998) Student editors who had autonomy rejected an advertisement promoting sexual abstinence. Court decided the decision was by students and not a state action.