Supreme Court Decision

The study is all concentrated on determining whether the decision arrived at by the Supreme Court was right or no using or basing its argument on the two court cases which were the tinker v. Des Moines and the Hazelwood district v. Kuhlmeier. The study involves the decision of these made on these two cases by the court and whether they reflects on the freedom of express the students were yarning form.


The case was a bout a banner possessed by the students which was said to convey a massage promoting illegal drugs use in the school. Since the school policy had prohibited such massages more so at time of school events the principal ordered the students to take off the banner. Among the students who brought the banner the event at school, one of them boycotted the principal’s order meaning that he refused to do as he was instructed by the principal. According to they school policy, the principal went a head and confiscated that banner and resolve in suspending the student. The principal was said to have violated the first Amendment as it was held by the Ninth circuit. The student was therefore able or in a position to sue the principal for the damage he has made. Bong Hits for Jesus was the case that was heard on March 19, 2007 in the Supreme Court and decided on June 25, 2007. The decision made by they supreme court was right because the banner bearing the phrase “Bong Hits for Jesus” was said to advocate for illegal drug use even though it was part of the school activity. According to the school policy, it includes any message that might cause misconduct or indiscipline in the school (Corley 21). The court decision advocated that public schools have the mandate to restrict student freedom of expression or speeches that may advocate for indiscipline such as the illegal drug use in schools. The court decision made it clear that not all speeches are restricted, students are entitle to freedom of expression on political issues, socials issues, the fight against drug use or the push for legalization of some drugs such as marijuana for medical use only and many others( Corley 21).

According to the decision made by the Supreme Court, no endorsement to the broad argument which was advanced by both the petitioners and the United States based on the first Amendment that permits official of public schools to censor student speeches that interferes or violates school educational mission. This is to mean that the decision made by the Supreme Court was the right one since if the students are allowed to express speeches that interfere with the schools mission, the role of the public schools will be violated hence the standard of education will be distorted. Speeches advocating for illegal drug use were said to pose threat to what is refer to as student safety in school and is considered as serious since it may interfere with their learning. According to the Supreme Court, illegal drug use is health hazard or presents threat to both the physical and mental safety of the students. This is to mean that public schools should not be limited the right to ban those speeches that are said to advocate for the illegal drug use. According to the Chief Justice’s opinion it was made clear that the case would have been different if the ban conveys a massage of politics or religious theme (Corley 22)

For instance a political massage such as political debate over criminalization of drug possession students may exercise their freedom of expression. Other speeches that are said to indulge students in celebration of illegal drug use should be restricted in public schools. According to Thomas the chief Justice it was clear that student had no right at all to hold speeches that violate the school rules and regulations. He argued that principals and other school officials should ensure that student rights of speech are limited. Those students who may exercise rights behold the set margin should or must face school sanctions or punished. The school officials have the mandate t either suspend or expel rude students from the school. This is because students are bound to adhere to set policies and rules of schools without any objections. From the decision made by the Supreme Court it was clear that the principal was not liable for the damages because she was acting according to the school policy meaning that she was directed by school authority. The first Amendment is said to protect student’s speeches if and only if the speeches have nothing to do with the violation of permissible rules or advocates of conducts that are harmful to the students.  The Supreme Court does not violate the First Amendment since the banner conveys a massage that was said to advocate for illegal drug use and thus why the student was suspended by the school principal. According to the Supreme Court, “Bong Hits Jesus” had some elements that were said to advocate for illegal drug use and thus why public schools were empowered to limit student rights of speech. Claims were made that students who use illegal drugs in school are dumb meaning that substance abuse need not to be advocated in schools since they interferes with their intelligent quotient or the understanding levels. Based on the above point, the Supreme Court decision was correct and the principal had the right to suspend the student (Schultz 831).

There arose complications in the case since Frederick who was the student claimed that his banner had nothing to do with violation or interference with school’s educational mission. He further claimed that it was a nonsensical phrase he got on a sticker and that he thought would get attention. The school established that it won’t suppress speech unless the speech offers a significant disruption to the educational mission. According to Hazelwood school district v. Kuhlmeier, it established that the school will control the student speech ability that would carry the sanction associated with the school administration such as year book, school newspaper or a planned speech at any public accession or event. According to the Supreme Court, speech that are said not to disrupt educational process or educational mission but have or presents elements of sexually vulgar should be suppressed with immediate effect. In Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court held no high school student should have first Amendment to publish any article related to pregnancy or divorce in the school newspaper based on the principal’s objection. This is to mean that all speeches must range within the principal’s tolerance but not the students demand. The school argued that Frederick’s banner was not part of school art assignment issued in class but it happened out off school as students were freed to watch coca-Coca and other Olympic activities and thus he was worth to face the sanction. The court argued that the first Amendment does not allow public school officials to give entrusted students the permit to promote and encourage the use of illegal drugs in school hence indicating that the decision was correct (Schultz 831).

In conclusion the supreme’s court decision was a worthy while decision since it advocates that no student’s right of speech should aim at disrupting the educational mission of the school. The first Amendments offer protection to student’s rights but those rights which are said not to violate or interfere with student’s safety. The principal in this case should not have held any damages since she acted according to the school’s policy that hinder or prohibit massages that are said to promote illegal drug use in school.

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