Students’ Free Speech

June 26, 2007 1 min read

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that school officials may regulate students’ speech “that they reasonably regard as promoting illegal drug use.” The decision—decided on a 6-3 vote—upheld the suspension of an Alaska high school student who displayed a banner with the message “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” during a school-sanctioned event.

Jeffrey Frederick says he created his homemade banner because he thought it was “absurdly funny.” But the majority of the justices weren’t laughing. They said the sign’s content was not protected by the First Amendment.

How much power should school officials have to control a student’s speech? What do you make of the Court’s decision?

A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.