Student’s Last Name 1
8 July 2012
The Limits of Free Speech in Schools
Limits of Free Speech
“Free Speech is guaranteed on one owns property”
(Farish, Leah, “The First Amendment Freedom of
Speech, Religion, and the Press”) Freedom of speech,
for many years has been a problem for schools. There has http://www.believeallthings.com/1355/def
amation-religions-resolutions/ been protests punished, sexual innuendo used in speeches
violating school conduct, and schools punishing people outside of campus. Even though speech is a huge issue in schools due to court limits, free speech should be limited because individual speech can be harming to the common good if left unchecked and common good can be harmful to the people if it’s too limited.
“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech…” (The First
Amendment) The first thing on the agenda is Tinker v. Des Moines, December 1965, John and Mary Beth Tinker decided to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. Des Moines School District in Des Moines, Iowa, learned of their protest and banned them. When the Tinkers walked in the classroom their teacher told them to take them off. They refused and were suspended. Court then learned of them being suspended and wondered if the school violated their
st1 amendment rights. From there they found out that the school harmed it by limiting their speech too much. The Tinkers finally won.
Sometimes though there are times when speech is not protected. 1986, Matthew
Fraser is getting ready to read his speech in front of his peers. Earlier his teacher told him to not to read it due to sexual content. Rather than listening to the teacher, he read it anyways. When he was done, the school suspended him and told him he couldn’t speak at the moving up ceremony. After words he sued the school because he believed his rights were being violated. Soon it got to the point where the Supreme Court got involved. Saying how Fraser hurt the common good his
speech was limited to that matter and he broke it. So Court
ruled that the school did the right thing in limiting it.
“Speech isn’t given its protected” Sometimes
there will be cases left unanswered by court like Morse v.
Fredrick. On a normal day, Joseph Fredrickson and some of
his friends were given permission to go watch the Olympic
torch pass. He had a banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”.
http://www.aleph0.com/~chjones/blogentries/wackyThe school, after he got back, suspended him and -news/
confiscated the banner. Although most believe he was
protected by first amendment right, he was violating law by supporting illegal drug use, thus he lost.
Free Speech in schools has been a hard topic for Court, having to determine whether or not a student was protected by the First Amendment. Like in Tinker v. Des Moines, the
speech was too limited, with Bethel v. Fraser, Fraser believed his right were too limited when in fact they weren’t limited, finally with Mores v. Frederick, it was left unanswered. So please, support freedom of speech in schools, your choice could affect what happens to your kids in their schools.
“Pure Speech” Legal Definition web 03 Mar. 2012.http://researchlawyers.com/glossary/pure-speech.html
Farish, Leah. The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, Religion, and the Press. Spring Field, NJ
Enslow, 1998. Print
“Bill of Rights Instititute: Landmark Supreme Court Cases: Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)” Bill of Rights Institute: Home. Web 12. Feb 2012 http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/lessons-plans/landmark-cases-and-the-constitution/tinker-v-des-moines-1969
Hudson, David L “First Amendment Center” K-12 Public School Student Expression
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/k-12-public-Overview 28 Sept 2012 Web. 03 Mar 2012