Monday, June 25, 2007

Does this mean you can't wear a marijuana leaf t-shirt to school?

The "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case before the Supreme Court lost:

"The U.S. Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long (4.3-meter) "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, as the Olympic torch made its way through Juneau, Alaska, en route to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.


"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."


Students in public schools do not have the same rights as adults, but neither do they leave their constitutional protections at the schoolhouse gate, as the court said in a landmark speech-rights ruling from Vietnam era.

The court has limited what students can do in subsequent cases, saying they may not be disruptive or lewd or interfere with a school's basic educational mission.