Bong Hits 4 Jesus only outside of school

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    While we wait for the slip opinion to be posted by the SCOTUS, I figure if we can keep discussion on point - the merits of the case and what we can tell of the findings from reports - instead of breaking down into "Scalia is a loser!" rants as if we are all pimple-faced 15 year olds who are more concerned with making cool blanket statements than with understanding the Court's reasoning, we'll be better off.

    Anyway, so it looks like the Court's ruling broadened the power of a school to prevent students from making statements that undermine, or appear to undermine, the school's efforts in promoting student welfare (here the school's drug free goals). I'm not surprised, and I am curious to see if the Court pushed the control to students in general or only at school-sponsored events. Also, how might this affect the those who attend school events, but aren't students - especially when the event is open to the public?

    Also, I'm curious to know where the dissent would have gone. Breyer didn't want to get into the Constitutionality, did the rest want to lessen school control or avoid the issue as well? Also, I'm curious to know how SB would have avoided it - apparently he wanted to rule that the kid couldn't sue. I'm curious to see how he cut the kid off.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this case - I got nailed with it while in HS, and I really didn't like those restrictions. But, at the same time, when there are statements that need to be controlled, it is often less controversial if the blanket is just a bit larger than what you need (as long as you aren't curtailling what should be protected speech).
     
  2. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I can live with the ruling. it says to me there are limits on being a punk in school. If the kid wanted to actually say something meaningful, I would have supported him, however, he admits to just wanting to get a rise out of the principal.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    I seem to remember that this case involved a kid from the school, but off school grounds and outside school property.

    Seems like a non-school issue to me.
     
  4. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #4
    I believe he was across the street, not on school property.

    If that is indeed the case I have a huge problem with this. The school should not be telling students what they can and can not do when they are not at school.

    However this does bring up some interesting things. They saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" constitutes drug references and thats why the court said it could sanction it. How about religion? The statement sanctions Jesus over other Gods. (Im sure there are other gods that would like a bong hit BTW ;) )

    How will this effect the cases of Christians that have cases in the system now because they had to change their T-shirts that had ant-gay comments? After all if 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' endorses illegal drugs and the students need protection form that thought they certainly need protection from students bigotry. No?
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #5
    From Wiki, so take it with a grain of salt, but "Frederick, who was late for school that day, joined some friends on the sidewalk across from the high school, off of school grounds."

    Off school grounds, not the school's problem. Great job SCOTUS :rolleyes:
     
  6. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #6
    Not quite according to Time:

    "The case started in 2002, when the Juneau-Douglas High School in Alaska let students cross the street to watch the Olympic torch pass on its way to Salt Lake City. As TV cameras rolled, senior Joseph Frederick and several friends unfurled the infamous banner, thinking it was, according to Frederick, "meaningless and funny," just a way "to get on television." But the school principal was not amused, and when Frederick refused to take the banner down, she suspended him for 10 days. Frederick sued the principal and school for violation of his free speech and won in the lower federal courts, but the Supreme Court accepted the case on appeal."

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1637131,00.html

    So it looks like they were off campus but under school supervision (like a field trip). I do not have a problem with it then - as long as the kids are under the schools watch at the time.
     
  7. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #7

    It sounds like the students were let outside during school, ie an assembly just outdoors. If it was indeed between the hours of 7AM and 3PM (or whatever arbitrary time school is in session) Then I totally agree with the ruling. I'll never forget the trouble I got into for buying a zippo on a 7th grade field trip.
     
  8. blackstone macrumors regular

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    Washington, DC
    #8
    The slip opinion is now online in PDF format, for those who wish to download it.

    I think this opinion is bad for a number of reasons:

    First, it make the already incoherent law on students' First Amendment rights even more incoherent, by carving out an exception to free speech when other people seeing/hearing the speech, not the speaker himself, think that the speech involves oblique advocacy or apparent advocacy of drug use.

    Second, this kind of viewpoint discrimination is incompatible with the spirit of the First Amendment As the dissent states:

    Although this case began with a silly, nonsensical ban-
    ner, it ends with the Court inventing out of whole cloth a
    special First Amendment rule permitting the censorship of
    any student speech that mentions drugs, at least so long
    as someone could perceive that speech to contain a latent
    pro-drug message.
    ...
    Even in high school, a rule that permits only one point
    of view to be expressed is less likely to produce correct
    answers than the open discussion of countervailing views.
    Whitney, 274 U. S., at 377 (Brandeis, J., concurring);
    Abrams, 250 U. S., at 630 (Holmes, J., dissenting); Tinker,
    393 U. S., at 512. In the national debate about a serious
    issue, it is the expression of the minority's viewpoint that
    most demands the protection of the First Amendment.
    Whatever the better policy may be, a full and frank dis-
    cussion of the costs and benefits of the attempt to prohibit
    the use of marijuana is far wiser than suppression of
    speech because it is unpopular.​

    I can't imagine how this is good policy, or how it helps train high school students for responsible citizenship.
     
  9. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #9
    I just find it depressing that in the other "free speech" ruling today the Court said that it had to tread lightly and err on the side of protecting free speech. Of course, in the other case the speech in question was campaign advertising money. Of course, the Court's never claimed to be consistent.

    I still think our new Court members are showing their colors.

    The principle sounded like she was just trying stifle dissent. The student's presumed message was at odds with official school propaganda, so he got suspended. Way to go, Supreme Court.
     
  10. dswoodley macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    For which this former HS teacher is grateful. Way to go Supreme Court!
     
  11. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #11
    The NYTimes take:
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    So free speech is only free when money is involved?
     
  13. blackstone macrumors regular

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    Washington, DC
    #13
    More accurately, free speech is free except if you're a student and you're speaking about (gasp!) illegal drugs. And drugs are bad, m'kay?
     
  14. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    paradise beach FL
    #14
    Me an Jesus used to do bong hitz behind the history teacher's van between second and third period. There was woods across the street where we went for lunch... in the 1980's when free speech was still legal everywhere in America.:rolleyes:
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #15
    Well... yeah.
     

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