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1 US MA: Edu: Editorial: Muzzled In AlaskaThu, 22 Mar 2007
Source:Harvard Crimson (MA Edu)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:75 Added:03/24/2007

Student Speech Deserves Constitutional Protection No Matter How Strange It May Be

High school students have a right to free speech, even if that speech concerns something controversial. This is a principle that the Supreme Court has affirmed in the past, and one that it should reaffirm in deciding a case it heard last week concerning a student who was punished for displaying a drug-related message across the street from his school.

The case concerns Joseph Frederick, a high school student who was suspended for holding up a 14-foot banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" on the sidewalk next to his school at the 2002 Olympic torch relay in Juneau, Alaska. His principal argued that the sign encouraged drug use and interfered with the educational mission of the school.

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2 US ME: OPED: Bong Hits 4 Jesus CaseFri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:Morning Sentinel (Waterville, ME) Author:Reisert, Joseph R. Area:Maine Lines:101 Added:03/24/2007

Schools Not Well Served If Second-Guessed by Courts

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says that they do, as long as they advocate drug use without also causing a disturbance. The Supreme Court, which took up the question this week, is likely to reverse -- the Ninth Circuit is already batting 0 for 9 in the Supreme Court this term -- but the fact that this case is in the courts at all demonstrates the absurdity of our current law regarding student speech.

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3US FL: Editorial: Disreputable PoliciesFri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2007

School Authority, Yes; Authoritarianism, No

It was a cold January day in 2002 when the Olympic torch was to pass through Juneau, Alaska. Students at a local high school were released from class so they could watch the ceremony.

They were not required to attend.

Some got bored and left. Some had snowball fights.

One, Joe Frederick, an 18-year-old senior who hadn't made it to school that morning, arrived late. Standing across the street from the school, Frederick unfurled a banner that said, "Bong hits 4 Jesus," and hoped to catch the attention of a television crew. He thought the sign was funny and played right into an ongoing debate in Alaska about marijuana and drug legalization. The school principal didn't think it was funny but a contradiction of the school's anti-drug policy. She crossed the street, tore up Frederick's banner and suspended him for 10 days. He sued her on free speech grounds

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4 US FL: Editorial: Free SpeechFri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:35 Added:03/24/2007

A Supreme Case of Pettiness

For those who think South Florida condo battles are petty and go on forever -- they are and they do -- consider the case of "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Quick summary: Hoping to get on TV, Alaska high school student Joseph Frederick unfurls a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner, across from his school as the Olympic torch relay passes through Juneau. The principal sees the banner, says it violates the school's anti-drug mission, and Frederick is suspended. He sues, and wins an appeal in Circuit Court, which said, correctly, that Frederick's free speech rights were violated. The incident wasn't on school property, and it didn't disrupt students. A basic prank. Case closed, back to geometry class.

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5 US: Of Banners and BongsSat, 24 Mar 2007
Source:Economist, The (UK)          Area:United States Lines:91 Added:03/24/2007

The Supreme Court Mulls a Schoolboy Prank

THE American constitution protects the right to free speech even of those who have nothing to say. Take, for example, the banner that Joseph Frederick, then an 18-year-old schoolboy, unfurled beside an Olympic parade in Alaska five years ago. It read: "Bong hits 4 Jesus". Was he mocking Christianity? Or promoting marijuana? Neither, says Mr Frederick. He copied the slogan from a snowboard. He did not think it meant anything particular. But he calculated that it would be funny and controversial. Plus, it might get him on television.

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6 CN ON: OPP Constable Facing Drug Charges Will Spend Weekend inSat, 24 Mar 2007
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)          Area:Ontario Lines:36 Added:03/24/2007

BROCKVILLE - A 37-year-old OPP police officer facing drug charges will be spending at least the weekend in jail following a court appearance in Brockville yesterday.

Const. Maurice Morrissette, who lives in Kemptville, made his first court appearance following his arrest Thursday on charges of trafficking of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and obstructing justice. His bail hearing was adjourned until Monday, when it is believed his brother will be able to attend and act as a surety for Const. Morrissette's release.

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7US WA: Kids These Days: Cut Them a BreakThu, 22 Mar 2007
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2007

We're baffled by two high-profile disciplinary decisions made by two schools. One was to suspend a student in Juneau, Alaska, for waving a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner while the 2002 Olympic torch went by (a prank pulled off school grounds and intended to get him on TV). The school's overreaction to the minor prank has turned a joke into a First Amendment case before the Supreme Court, with Kenneth Starr (!) representing the Alaska school board. Kind of makes us wonder who is really taking the bong hits.

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8 US WA: Editorial: Supreme Court Ruling on Free Speech Must BeWed, 21 Mar 2007
Source:Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (WA)          Area:Washington Lines:76 Added:03/24/2007

A case centering on a student's right to free speech could, if not handled with care, undercut the authority of teachers and school administrators.

When students are in school they can't do what they like nor can they say what they like. That's a widely accepted principle, and it's one that is critical to ensure that teachers and administrators can keep order.

But what if the student is on the street just outside the school?

Well, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco sided with a student who says he was unfairly punished by a high school principal for unfurling a 14-foot banner that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" in front of the school. The student pulled the stunt for the benefit of the TV crews filming the Olympic torch going through Juneau, Alaska.

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9 US: Is This the Answer to Drug Use?Sun, 25 Mar 2007
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hocieniewski, David Area:United States Lines:308 Added:03/24/2007

KRISTIN SOMERS was sitting in her 10th-grade English class at Hackettstown High last year when a call came over the intercom telling her to report to the office. Immediately.

An honors student with a 3.8 average here in northwestern New Jersey, she wasn't being summoned to discuss her academic performance. And while she participates in an array of after-school organizations - from soccer and softball to the National Honor Society and Key Club - the issue wasn't her extracurricular activities or future plans.

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