Settlement Reached in ‘Bong Hits’ Case

By Mark Walsh — November 07, 2008 1 min read
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The Juneau, Alaska, school district has reached a settlement with former student Joseph Frederick, who was disciplined over his 2002 display of a banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus,” according to this story in the Juneau Empire.

This struck me as interesting, because the district and a school principal won their case in the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled last year in Morse v. Frederick that the ‘Bong Hits’ banner was not protected speech and that the principal merited qualified immunity for disciplining the student.

But a seven-year litigation saga was continuing, evidently with the possibility that Frederick might win some relief under the Alaska Constitution. So the school board settled with Frederick and his lawyers for $45,000, the Juneau newspaper reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska has this press release about the settlement.

Education Week reported on the case here and here, and I blogged here in January about a dispute over legal fees.

A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.