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The First Amendment: Do you know your speech rights as a student?

Sept. 3, 2008

Your right to free speech is not eliminated when you step into school or attend a school function, but a ruling this summer by the U.S. Supreme Court has placed more limits on it than ever before.

In one of the final decisions of the Court’s 2006-2007 term, the justices considered the controversial Morse v. Frederick case and ruled that principal Deborah Morse was allowed to punish student Joseph Frederick for unfurling a questionable banner, even though it occurred, technically, off the campus of their Juneau, Alaska high school.

The ruling has far-reaching implications for your First Amendment rights as a student. Some experts argue that because the message of Frederick’s banner – “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” – was a cheeky statement that seemingly promoted drug use, rather than political or religious speech, it didn’t deserve protection. Others worry that this case set a precedent for principals who want to punish students for protected political or religious speech off-grounds that they might find objectionable. Still another viewpoint suggests that the ruling could have implications for student speech online.

The beginning: Student speech in Vietnam-era classrooms

Morse v. Frederick is not the first Supreme Court case dealing with students’ right to free speech. The case was reviewed in the context of the groundbreaking Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), in which the court decided that students’ speech in school is protected by the First Amendment as long as it is not disruptive to the educational process.

Arguably one of the most important rulings in defining students’ freedom of speech, the Tinker case began in 1965, during the Vietnam War. A group of students, led by John F. Tinker, Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt, planned on protesting the war by wearing black armbands to school from December 16, 1965 until the New Year. The principals of the Des Moines schools became aware of the plan, and on December 14, they adopted a policy that forbade the wearing of armbands in school and called for suspension of the students until they returned without the armbands.

On December 16, Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt wore their armbands to school and were asked to remove them. They refused and did not return to school until after the planned period for wearing the armbands, after New Year’s Day.

The parents of Mary Beth and John Tinker filed a complaint with a federal judge and brought the Des Moines Independent Community School District to court on the grounds that the school infringed on their students’ First Amendment rights.

The case was argued throughout the federal court system, and in 1967, the case made its way to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled that the schools did infringe on the students’ First Amendment rights. The court found that students do have the right to free speech, even in school, but that freedom does not include types of expression that may hinder the learning environment of others. Judge Hugo Black said in his court statement that:

“First, the Court concludes that the wearing of armbands is ‘symbolic speech’ which is ‘akin to ‘pure speech’’ and therefore protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Secondly, the Court decides that the public schools are an appropriate place to exercise ‘symbolic speech’ as long as normal school functions are not ‘unreasonably disrupted’.”

Old and new precedents

The Tinker v. Des Moines ruling defined parameters for school administrators to follow in order to protect students’ First Amendment rights while maintaining the school’s educational environment. However, subsequent cases - Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986) and Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988) – have redefined the scope of that ruling, allowing certain types of speech to be censored.

The Bethel case involved a 17-year-old Washington student who, in 1983, spoke at a school assembly to nominate his classmate for vice president of student government. His speech, while it did not contain any vulgar or obscene words, was filled with sexual references and puns that– many found offensive, including the administration, which suspended him for three days and barred him from speaking at his graduation.

The student sued, the case worked its way up the legal system and three years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school district, outlining a difference between the First Amendment rights of adults and minors: “the essential lessons of civil, mature conduct cannot be conveyed in a school that tolerates lewd, indecent, or offensive speech.”

In the Hazelwood case, a principal in Missouri reviewed an issue of the school newspaper, and pulled two articles, one involving divorce and the other involving student pregnancy that included interviews with three students who had become pregnant. Pseudonyms were used to keep their identities secret, but the principal decided that they didn’t offer enough protection. Further, he felt that the article, which discussed birth control and sexual activity, was inappropriate for younger students.

The Supreme Court ruled that as a school-sponsored publication, a student newspaper is not a public forum for student expression. Therefore, a school’s decision to censor them is permitted if the censoring is “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.” In this case, the principal’s concerns were shielding “inappropriate” commentary – even though it was not lewd or graphic, as the comments in Bethel were – from the younger students.

New developments: Speech off school grounds

The controversy behind this year’s ruling was that the action for which Joseph Frederick was punished occurred off of school grounds. It was around the time of the 2002 Olympics, a parade was happening in downtown Juneau as the Olympic torch passed through and classes were dismissed early so students could walk to the event in a group with their teachers. In town, safely away from school, is where Frederick and his friends decided to play their prank and unfurled the banner, which he admitted in court was nothing more than attempt to draw attention to himself and get on TV.

His principal tore down the banner and suspended him for ten days, but Frederick argued that he was out of school and, thus, out of Morse’s jurisdiction. It may be true that he was not on school grounds, but the Supreme Court decided Frederick was at a school function – a gathering not unlike a field trip – and that, under the standards of Tinker, his activity constituted a disruption.

In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The event in question occurred during normal school hours and was sanctioned by Morse as an approved social event at which the district’s student-conduct rules expressly applied. … Frederick stood among other students across the street from the school and directed his banner toward the school, making it plainly visible to most students. Under these circumstances, Frederick cannot claim he was not at school.”

Implications of the ruling

The Supreme Court’s ruling has implications in terms of student speech, causing speculation and commentary among critics about when student speech can be restricted, where it can be restricted, and what can be done to offer more protection.

In an interview with MTV News online, Witold Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania said that student speech, in general, receives fairly extensive protection if it involves political or religious speech.

“When it comes to serious criticisms and discussions of what's going on in society, you're safe as long as you do it in a non-profane, relatively respectful way,” Walczak said. “You can get those messages out, even if they're critical of what the school is doing. The school would have a tremendous burden to justify either punishing a student or telling them they can't express that message, either on a T-shirt or handing out fliers.”

The problem with Frederick was that few people considered waving a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” to be ‘serious criticism or discussion,’ part of the reason his case was not successful. However, Justice John Paul Stevens, who ruled in favor of Frederick, argued in his minority opinion that, while Fredereck’s banner might have contained a nonsense slogan, the decision against it could allow administrators to punish a student for speech that perhaps challenged drug laws in a more direct, serious manner.

“The court's ham-handed, categorical approach is deaf to the constitutional imperative to permit unfettered debate, even among high school students, about the wisdom of the war on drugs,” Stevens wrote.

Another consideration is where the speech occurs, and Walczak argues that despite the particulars of this case, student speech off school grounds remains safe. Frederick involved a school-sponsored event giving administrators more latitude to restrict what students did. But at heart, Walczak says, “the lesson for teachers and administrators is, their authority stops at the schoolhouse gate. ... So if a student flips the bird to a principal at a mall, can that principal use his or her authority to punish the student? Our argument would be ‘no.’”

Some wondered whether student speech would be protected in the online realm. Commentator Andy Carvin pointed out in a column on PBS.org that in recent years, schools have attempted to crack down on students who post to blogs, personal websites and social networking pages such as Facebook.com. Carvin argued that the results of this will prove mixed; some schools who attempt to discipline students for activities on personal computers, at home and away from school, may continue being forced to “back down and even pay damages.”

On the other hand, Carvin says that online activities from home can be viewed as “school-sancitioned” for schools that decide to allow social networking sites in the classroom. “Many schools, of course, filter out social networks, deeming them not educational and inappropriate for classroom access,” he wrote. “[But] if a school allows access to certain social networks and a student hypothetically posted drug-related content on his or her personal online profile, the school might argue that using the social network is indeed school-sanctioned and thus open to disciplinary action, even if the content is posted off-campus.”

For advocates of student free speech, hope lies in local and state laws. California, for example, is likely to see little effect from the Frederick ruling since a state statute enacted in 1983 entitles public school students to freedom of speech unless what they say is obscene or libelous or it creates “a clear and present danger” of lawbreaking in the school.

In an Associated Press interview, Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition - a media advocacy organization – said, “Students, particularly in the higher grades, ought to enjoy essentially the same freedom of speech that their parents enjoy.”

What do you think?

How does the Supreme Court’s ruling in Morse v. Frederick affect students’ speech rights at school and away from school? How does the Frederick case correspond to and differ from past First Amendment cases involving schools and students? What kind of free speech protections should be granted to students at school-sponsored events? How would the justices have ruled differently if Frederick’s banner had said something different? How do you think this will affect online activities and state and local laws? How would you have decided the case? Join the discussion and let us know!
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Comments
11/20/2012
Rudyard, MT
Donovan
Mrs.Campbell ,, Northstar
As a student they should be able to talk out loud and say what ever whats on their mind and other people should listen to the m what they have to say.

11/16/2012
New York
Heather
Colby/Belleville-Henderson
As a highschool student, their are plenty of ways to express yourself. There is a way speak your mind without being rude. There are different words and terms that you can use to do this. But in my opinion anybody should have the right to speak what is on their mind, and they should have that right as an individual.

10/30/2012
Sidney MT
Sicily Mitchell
Mr. F/ Sidney High School
I feel that there are a lot of schools out there on a power trip! Why did this offend the school so much? obviously this kid had a problem and instead of making the problem bigger why not create a solution?! Also, some schools need to quit being nosey and let kids live and learn!

10/30/2012
Sidney Montana
Heidi
Faulhaber
What happens off school grounds, stays off grounds. I do not think the school has a right to poke their nose in anyone's buisness. It's considered rude the way I was raised.

10/30/2012
Sidney Montana
Heidi
Faulhaber
What happens off school grounds, stays off grounds. I do not think the school has a right to poke their nose in anyone's buisness. It's considered rude the way I was raised.

10/24/2012
Watertown/MA
Tory
John Rimas/Watertown High School
As a student, I know my speech rights. In my opinion, everyone is entitled to speak their mind. However, there is a difference between speaking your mind in a rude way, and speaking your mind in an accurate educational way. As a student, we should know the difference, and not be free to speak about inappropriate things that do no pertain to school. That is the speech rights of a student.

10/7/2011
Sidney Montana
Dustin Renders
Mr. Faulhaber
Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. Who decides if that kids banner is worth deffending or not?? I am tired of the schools trying to control any and everything they can. we go there to get an education, not to be punished for things that are NOT illegal and are NOT on school grounds. so i say schools should worry about what happens on their campus and stay the heck out of our buisness otherwise!

12/10/2009

Ken
Litchfield High, Litchfield, CT
The courts are wrong on their decision. Schools suspend kids for saying questionable things. I am a person who speaks his mind and is very vocal but in school I am afraid to. I do not want to get suspended for saying something I believe yet may be viewed as controversial. In Tinker v. Des Moines, the courts said the student have the right to free speech. This case sets a new precedent for principals to punish students for their religious views or for view that are deemed controversial. If I were a judge on this case, I would rule in favor of Fredrick. That banner was a form of speech and is protected under the First Amendment. Deborah Morse had no right suspending him the banner that was displayed off school grounds. I fear what this case may do to our rights as students.

6/30/2009

Frank M.
east islip high school, islip terrace, new york
My friend Izzy and I believe that the court's ruling was justified.

6/30/2009

dan
east islip high school, east islip, NY
i remember hearing something about the schoolhouse gate. shouldn't the district's reach end somewhere? isn't this both political and religious speech?

6/30/2009

Elizabeth
Twin lawns Hs, Chicago, IL
I think that since he was off the school property and not even in school at that certain time, he shouldn't have gotten punished for it. However, if there was a policeman around, they should have taken control and the student would have to deal with the consequences. The school has no right to be involved with the students if they are not in school at that time.

6/30/2009

Veronica
Any School, Las Vegas, Nevada
I feel schools should not be allowed to punish students for something that occured off school grounds, unless it was a school sponsored event or trip. Parents should be held accountable and responsible for the whereabouts and activities their children are involved in. I do feel students should be monitored for their freedom of speech because they may not fully understand the consequences of their actions.

6/30/2009

Ben
Dover Hs, Ralley, Oklahoma
I think that it is not right for the school to do that.

6/30/2009

Mark
Northport, New York
Students have the right to be heard, it is our greatest freedom, but students should be resepectful towards the negative effects of violence and drugs on society.

6/30/2009

Lori S.
Kings Park High School, Kings Park, NY
Schools should regulate students' speech. Schools are acting in loco parentis, therefore, inappropriate speech needs to be filtered so that the educational process is not disrupted.

6/30/2009

Brian
Northport, Northport, NY
I agree with the ruling. I believe that students need to understand the responsibility that goes with free speech. We are fighting a drug problem in our schools and certain things should not be allowed or considered when looking at the First Amendment.

6/30/2009

Brandon
Northport High School, Northport/NY
I agree with the court's decision. Students do have free speech rights at school but there needs to be limitations such as these.

6/30/2009

Christine W
Mepham , Bellmore/ NY
I agree with the Supreme Court's decision in the Morse v. Frederick case. 'Bong hits 4 Jesus' is clearly a pro-drug message and inappropriate in a school setting. Some limitations need to be put on the freedom of speech for offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate incidents at school or school-sponsored/supported events.

6/30/2009

Curt L.
Project PATCH, Northport, NY
Morse v Frederick is another example of the Supreme Court reducing student rights. The Tinker decision recognized that student rights do not stop at the schoolhouse gate. Since the bannner was not disruptive, the principal should not have taken disciplanary action against Morse.

6/30/2009

amy
northport, northport, NY
I think the court's ruling in favor of the school was appropriate. It was a school sanctioned activity, and the student was advocating illegal drug use, which had the potential to incite the other students.

6/30/2009

Kristan F.
North Merrick, North Merrick, NY
I think that the Supreme Court was right in their decision. The event may have happened off of school grounds, but it was still a school related event. His statement was neither political nor religious in nature, and can therefore be viewed as a promotion for the illegal use of drugs.

6/30/2009

Jodi T
Herricks , New Hyde Park, NY
What bothers me about most of these comments is that a lot of people are focused on the fact that he was not on school grounds. The school sponsored this trip to see the Olympic torch and he was standing with students and teachers that were representing the school. That being said, I feel that if he wanted to do this in front of his home, away from the school trip, fine Bbut since he purposely joined in with the school sponsored event then the school should have the right to act. Advocating the use of drugs is not allowed in school so why should it be allowed on a school trip?

6/30/2009

Erin T.
Mepham, Bellmore, NY
Two issues I feel are related to this case are the ability of technology to spread student speech and the role of the schools in showing students what is socially acceptable behavior. Is it socially appropriate for students to place what they consider a banner with dubious humor in a very public place? And as technology allows students to spread ideas even easier, isn't it important for them to think critically about which messages they send?

6/30/2009

liz r.
northport high school , northport, ny
I agree with the decision- it was an inappropriate action during a school sanctioned activity .

6/30/2009

Jennifer
Plainview Old Bethpage, Plainview, NY
There has to be a law that limits the kind of message a student voices, or else there would be an influx of illogical messages planted outside the school.

6/30/2009

Stacy G
Connetquot, Bohemia, New York
I think the banner was inappropriate and although it was not technically on school grounds, the students (and people in general) should act in an appropriate manner at school functions.

6/30/2009

Rosemarie
Andrew T. Morrow, Central Islip/NY
Though the student was off school grounds, the banner was offensive to the community. As teachers we should encourage and teach students that though we have the freedom of speech, we should use our words to inspire and educate and make a difference.

6/30/2009

Thad
Northport, Northport, NY
School sanctioned event, students still have to follow the rules.

6/4/2009

Andrew
Trinity High School, Washington, PA
If an illegal act was committed outside school grounds, the administration should not have been able to do anything about it. That's why we have local and state authorities.

5/28/2009

Amanda
trinity high school, washington, PA
I think because he was off school campus he shouldnt of been punished. It would be another thing if he was on the campus, then the school could of punished him.

5/26/2009

Duane
Trinity, Wash./PA
If a student does something off school campus then it is basically out of their jurisdiction. However, I feel that if a student commits a crime on another school's property that the kid's school district can then punish them.

5/26/2009

Jackie
Trinity High School, Washington Pa
Since the student was off campus, they did not have the right to punish them. If the crime was done inside the school or during school hours, then of course the ruling would have been fair.

5/1/2009

Ian
THS, Washington, PA
If the students were off school grounds, the district cannot do anything. Bottom Line. As far as I'm concerned, being off school grounds means you are on public property (not the school's) Therefor, their rights should not be infringed upon just because they were directing their message to the school.

5/1/2009

Domenique
Trinity High School, Washington, PA
I should know my speech rights as a student, but I feel like our administrators don't want us to know about them for obvious reasons. I think the first amendment is abused among high school students, but that does not give administrators the right to keep that information from us. We need voices too.

4/2/2009

Abby
Trinity High School, PA
In my opinion, the school did not have the right to punish the student, since they were off campus. If this happened on school grounds, then I think they would have been justified in punishing the boy.

1/24/2009

Sana Jr. 4
northeast high school, Philadelphia/Pa
In my opinion, I think it depends on what a student is doing relating to his/her "Freedom Of Speech." We all have the right to speak out our opinion but in this case the fact that the student was disturbing other students due to his actions then I support the ruling of the Supreme Court. If a student is acting inappropriately then he/she should be punished. What goes around in or around the school is the administrators responsibly!

1/22/2009

Gabrielle
Concord Junior High, IN
Freedom of Speech. That's all the Constitution says - not "only in some cases"! It says that the citizens of America have rights to Freedom of Speech, including Joseph Frederick. And even if the school has the right to be the kid's authority figure at school, they can't invade his rights.

1/22/2009

Gabriela
Concord High School, Elkhart, IN
What if this kid would have done something like this in his backyard? The school would not be able to go to his house and punish him! Well, it's the same deal for what he actually did.

12/7/2008

Alda Q period-5
NEHS, philadelphia pa
In my opinion City Parks should not have religious monuments up unless they are ready for a lot of people being angry and wanting to put their religions up. Everyone wants their religion know and represented. There might be a lot of conflict and arguments because some people can get offended by other religions. Also violence can happen and many other issues. Though this is one of our rights and they cannot reject if they should have put this problem to the test and see if it would work. If it is not a good accomplishment they can just deny it. But I believe that we have other greater problems in this country to worry about this.

12/3/2008

Chelsea
Trinity, Washington PA
I don't feel that the principal had the right to punish the student for something that he did off school campus. Promoting drug use on a banner is bad, but it isn't something that the school had the right to punish the boy over.

12/3/2008

Amanda S.
Trinity High School, PA
If the offense occurred off campus, the school shouldn't have a say in whether it was quesitonable or not. I would have decided the case by upholding the student's right to free speech, seeing as the banner was off school grounds.

10/27/2008

Mike O
S.A. Douglas, Philadelphia
The student in this case had every right to express himself as long as it did not provoke any hateful messages or obscene images. The principal had no right to suspend this person off of school grounds, unless if he was with the school on a field trip or something. The fact that the court was in favor of the school shows that there are other factors playing in to the ruling or the court simply made an unjust ruling. Such debates about first amendment rights ill continue to exist, though, since people in positions of authority like to slowly push their control deeper into their sub-ordinates' actions.

10/21/2008

Sally
Trinity High School, Washington, PA
I think that the principal had every right to suspend that student because the school needs to be able to enforce a moral code of conduct. Otherwise, anything goes.

10/5/2008

Sairah
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The principal had every right to take the banner down, but she overstepped her authority when she suspended him. Our class watched a documentary on this topic, and it said that the student admitted that it didn't really mean anything and that it was a harmless prank. Only it wasn't harmless, was it? Someone had to overreact, and pardon my assumption, but she was probably Christian as well and suspended the student on a personal offense. That is unfair. If that is the case, she should not have suspended him and the Supreme Court should have ruled in his favor.

10/5/2008

Ulysses
Nimitz, Irving/TX
Even though we are granted freedom of speech by the first amendment it apparently does not stop schools from going beyond their jurisdictional boundaries. In the case of Morse vs. Frederick, Joseph Frederick was disciplined unjustifiably by being suspended. Such as in the trial there are some school officials as it seems that have let the power they have at school get to their heads, first it starts like that, they went and got a student when he was off campus what is too say they don't take it further. What if in the future the school official sees a student somewhere acting in a manner they don't think is appropriate, will they still think they have authority there. I would hope not because I know students and there are some that definitely do not like school officials so if they would go up to them and begin lecturing, I am just saying there might be problems. I think it is time that school officials take a reality check and analyze just how far their power lies.

10/4/2008

Azharuddin A. pd.2 SSADVM
Northeast High School, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Well it violated our speech, making us feel like we are not equal enough and that they don't care what we say. Well it totally violated our rights of the first amendment freedom of speech which clearly says that we all are equal, we have the same rights , and are all one people, that have one nation with only one destiny. I would let him do what he has to do. Yes, it was off school property and not during school. I don't see anything wrong with that and no one what so ever should abuse our first amendment.

10/3/2008

Stephanie jr y1
northeast high, philadelphia pa
I agree with the comments from the other students because the first amendment does state that everybody have freedom of speak but there is always limitations on what you can say depending on where you are. For example, in a lot of business places such as offices and school, profanity can not be used and other figures of speech that can be said to be rude of offensive to others.

10/3/2008

Peter JR6
Edward Murrow High School, Brooklyn NY
Rights are for those who really want them, not for those who simply complain about them.

10/2/2008

Selene S.
Nimitz High, Irving, Texas
According to the First Amendment, we have the freedom of speech, but that is not always true whenever we are in public places such as a school. Joseph Frederick was off school campus when he held the banner. When there is an authority nearby they feel like they should do something about the “problem” and so we end up with the consequences. The consequences like the ones taken by the principal, Deborah Morse were too severe. Morse was not in charge of him at that moment because he was off school campus and someone else could have dealt with it. The principal should have just given him detention for a while instead of suspending him from school because everyone has the freedom of speech and because her action was exaggerated this ended up in the court when it could have been solved peacefully at the school without blowing things out of porportion. This case makes all the students think about what they want to say and I am pretty sure that we all want to express our thoughts without being afraid of what kind of trouble we might get into. We do not want to live in fear forever. And since this case happened, we are frequently questioning the First Amendment and what the founders really meant when they said we had the “freedom of speech.”

10/2/2008

Jasmine P.
Nimitz H.S., Irving, Texas
Students need to be reminded about their speech rights (or lack thereof) especially when school events/functions are being held (even if they are off-campus), because-- whether the student likes it or not-- they are representing that school at a function such as the one in which the incident took place. So I believe that the principal had every right to discipline the student. Many students need to be reminded that although we have a "free speech" right, it does not need to be abused and taken advantage of as we see fit.

10/2/2008

Mariana
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Morse v. Frederick has definitely made us more aware of the restrictions we, as students, have on free speech in school and at school related events; outside of (anything even related to the term) school students are free to express their views. However, one can never fully express oneself, there are lawful restrictions on free speech in different situations. The Fredrick case is very different from the Tinker case. Besides the technicalities, (like the Tinkers expressed them selves AT school and wore a modest arm band, where as Fredrick was outside of school, but at a school event and had a banner) the major difference in this issue is the cause. I agree with the Courts decision ruling on Principal Deborah Morse's side. Frederick was at a school event surrounded by teachers and fellow students. This situation is completely wrong for a student to express anything “cheeky” and related to (even in the slightest bit) drugs. But, outside of school, on his own time, it would have been ok for him to express himself.

10/2/2008

Mark
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
Technically, students do not have the exact constitutional rights. Depending on the State and School district, a student will have a set of rights. However, complete freedom of speech is not one of them. The objective of government is the people understand that we can not treat each other fairly and we need laws to help with equal treatment. I can not walk into an airport and yell “Bomb!” with out getting arrested. Is this infringing upon my rights? No. Arresting me, would actually protect the rest of the population. I would have ruled in favor of Morse, because what the student said was completely inappropriate. This did not infringe rights of the student.

10/2/2008

Matt
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
I believe that the student should not have got into trouble by his principal for holding the banner. Yes the banner may have been inappropriate, but he was released from school early and he was no longer on school property when he was displaying his banner. If anything the cops should have taken care of the matter not the principal, because once he got off campus the principal had no authority over the student.

10/2/2008

Yessi
Nimitz, Irving, Texas
Morse v Frederick case was fair because the student decided to act funny and maybe tried to be cool with his friends. If he had not received any attention from the teachers or pricipal of the school and had been punished then other students would have taken advantage of it and maybe would have done it in a larger size class later on. Even if he wasn't in school classroom he should not had publicize a poster like that.

10/2/2008

Stephen
Nimitz High School, Irving
Ask me what kind of speech rights I have as a student and I could only give you a shrug. It'll all depend on the figures of authority at the campus. Just recently I was clapping in our school cafeteria when our school principal approached me, Sent me to the office and handed me a 3 hour after school detention. This was just for clapping. This plays along with the two court cases we read about also, the rights we have as students to speech our minds is all in the hands of how liberal the administration is. What should not be done though, is prohibit a student's right to speech outside of school. Outside of class students are just as capable and giving as any other citizens in the country and should not be taught the lesson that we only get our rights in certain situations.

10/2/2008

Jerril
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I think that the Supreme Court's ruling in Morse v. Frederick will affect the students' speech rights. They will be much more hesitant in what they say and do inside and outside of school. The Frederick case differs from other cases because it involved the student being off campus while other cases involved students in campus. If I could decide the case, I would not let the principal punish the student for his actions because the student has freedom of speech and his actions were off campus.

10/1/2008

Ethan
Nimitz, Irving TX
How is the school to say it “sponsors” the Olympic Torch? Fine, sure, let the students out early to go see it if they want. But the school has overstepped its bounds when it tries to police the event. There are people called “police officers” for that sort of thing. If some random adult had walked into the crowd and held up the banner, would the school have dealt with it? NO. No matter how much principal Deborah Morse wants to be mommy to her students, she is not. The moment her students step off her campus, they are no longer under her authority. Even truancy is handled by police officers, not school officials. Frederick had stepped off campus.

10/1/2008

Vy
Nimitz HS, Irving, Texas
In the case of Morse vs. Frederick, the Courts were justified when they sided with Principal Deborah Morse. In the Joseph Frederick’s case, he chose the wrong time and method to display his “cheeky” banner, when he was walking among his teachers and schoolmates during school hours to attend an event approved by his school. If Frederick easily went by unpunished, the circumstance could’ve encouraged other students to be bolder about making inappropriate or even offensive comments in class, which could then culminate to a distracting school atmosphere. If on the other hand, Frederick had chosen to promote his banner around town separate from his teachers after school hours, he wouldn’t be tied to the rules of his campus and so punishment would be seen under a different light, should that case ever come to court. Students shouldn’t doubt their rights to free speech anywhere, as long as they convey their thoughts in ways appropriate to certain situations.

10/1/2008

Nadia
Nimitz, Irving, TX
The fact that the Supreme Court sided with Principal Morse in the Morse v. Frederick case surprises me. Although the student's banner may have contained a “cheeky” and unpopular sentiment, the student was off campus and under the protection of the first amendment. The first amendment protects free speech, unless said speech causes chaos and harm. It is highly doubtful that a drug-promoting banner would have caused mass chaos. Experts argued that because the banner did not display free speech relating to religion or politics, it did not deserve protection. However, who are these people to decide what does and does not “deserve” protection? The first amendment does not specifically state that unpopular sentiments are not protected. Just because an opinion is one that upsets a majority doesn't mean that it isn't as valid as a more popular opinion. One of the greatest things about this country is that regardless of how right or ill-informed we may be, we are entitled to our own opinion. It's unfortunate that a young man was punished by the school board for an opinion he displayed on a banner outside of school, off campus. Right or wrong, Frederick technically had his first amendment right to share his opinion outside of school.

10/1/2008

Merhawi
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
I don't feel the Morse v Frederick case affected students' rights outside of school, simply because it wasn't considered as such. The view was that because it was like a field trip, Frederick should be restricted to the same restrictions as if he were on-campus, which I don't feel was affected by the case because it was a disruption and seemingly promoted drug-use. That being said I feel it falls right in step with Tinker v Des Moines and other court cases about the First Amendment. I think the First Amendment is more regulated in regards to students because it's just as important to teach discretion and responsible language (esp. in a public setting) as it is to teach free speech, so I probably would have voted in favor of principal Deborah Morse.

10/1/2008

Hyunwoo
Nimitz, Irving TX
I do not think that the school should have had any authority over the student in the first place. If it is off school grounds, the school is not responsible for the students and if the principal was really frustrated and aggitated by the banner, then she should have called the police, not suspend the student. Also, even though the banner was written like it was supporting binge drinking, the actual intention was nowhere near any use of alcohol. I would have been in favor of the student, although i might have given the student a minor punishment for giving false ideas and seeming like is supporting the use of alcohol..

9/30/2008

Glenn
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I strongly believe that students should be allowed to have whatever views they want outside of a campus. This includes displaying banners with any text they want. Banners on campus or during school activities is a completely different matter. You can not disrupt other's education for any personal reason. This does not appear to be the case here, though. Apparently the campus was released early to see the olympic torch relay crossing the street next to the campus. So, it would appear that school was still in session when the banner was unveiled, across the street. Most schools have students sign codes of conduct, which will most likely detail their punishment for breaking these rules. Fredrick clearly wanted to play a joke on the students and it seems fitting that he be punished. Fredrick could have easily walked down the street a few blocks to avoid the school, but this was not his intention.

9/30/2008

Blesson
Nimitz H.S., Irving, TX
Students should be able to say what they want to a certain limit. Freedom of speech is one thing, but when it gets out of control and people take advantage of it, then it should be controled. If we have the freedom of speech and we say something that offends someone or we say some profound word in school than it begans to get to far

9/30/2008

Emmanuel
Nimitz, Irving, TX
Morse v. Frederick sets a precedent that now students cannot say what they want at or away from school. Now certain things that are said are clearly unacceptable but others said in a joking manner should be ignored all together. This incident happened off of school property; therefore, I do not think the school should have the ability to punish the student.

9/29/2008

Fil
Irving, Nimitz High School
The schools are now trying to control what we say even if we are off school grounds. We now have to be careful of what we say even if we are away from school. As long as we do not disrupt the education process we are okay. The Frederick case is similar to other court rulings in that it has limited student's rights on speech. If it had been up to me I would have had the student's parents handle the punishment instead of the school. Technically, he was not on school grounds but the school saw otherwise.

9/29/2008

James
Nimitz High School, Irving
I think students should not be censorded, unless its something profane. The students shouldnt be pursecuted for something they say off campus by their principals.

9/29/2008

Stephanie
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
The First Amendment seems more vague as the years go by. People feel more comfortable expressing their opinions than they did even 20 years ago. Now in cases like Morse v. Frederick, the public feels like the Supreme Court is violating our rights in free speech. I feel like in the specific case of Morse v. Frederick, this isnt only about protecting the right of free speech, its also about what the school's choose to be liable for. If Frederick would have held the sign not affiliated with the school, this whole case wouldnt have even existed...but since he was "at a school function" the school felt as though Fredericks' banner represented their school. First things first, the Consitution needs to have specific rules for students under responsibility of schools during the regular school day. If the schools are allowed to regulate our dress code, should they even be allowed to regulate how we express our opinion. It seems as though many other rights, like freedom of religion, is being restricted as well. Teachers are not even allowed to express their personal beliefs...should students not be allowed to either? I think that we should be allowed to express our opinions, I seem to learn more when their is a large variety of opinions around me.

9/28/2008

Curtis L. Pd 5
philadelphia, Northeast High School
I believe that in school that the school should be able to correct that if they did something wrong. But however if that student decides to do something off school grounds it is not the school's job to step in a chastise them. That is why we have parents to take some responsibilities for our actions. In this case, the student shouldn’t of have gotten into trouble because if we have the right to freedom of speech he should be able to say what he felt was appropriate. He didn’t bother anyone on school grounds and I feel that wasn’t in the principal’s juror’s diction. Another thing to take into reasoning, he is a kid and kids do a lot of things that many people don’t approve of. That is why I believe Joseph Frederick should’ve been punished by school officals.

9/28/2008

Lexy C
Irving, Nimitz
Suspension is a little extreme and I believe that if the principle would have just ordered him to put down the sign at a school function it would not have blown up. Fredrick's intentions were not serious enough (like the case of arm bands against the war) to be dealt in his favor, it had no substance and if he was actually being serious he could have exercised is free speech somewhere that wasn't promoted by the school. When a student is among his classmates and faculty members, the student is representing themselves and the entire school so Morse had the right to make him put the banner away.

9/28/2008

Juan A.
Irving, TX - Nimitz H.S.
The ruling in the Morse vs. Frederick case shows that students do not have complete freedom of speech at school or away from school. The difference between Frederick's cases and other school cases is that Frederick’s banner was shown right outside of his school during school hours where all the students could see. The banner also implied drug usage which is illegal, whether he is in school or not. I personally think that students should be able to say whatever they want. I don’t recall the first amendment having any restrictions on your “freedom of speech” or else it would have been called “partial freedom of speech”. I believe that students should have complete free speech at school- sponsored event. Why would their freedom change from at home to school? I think that students should be respectful and should not use vulgar or profane language, but I think that is just common sense and manners. I think that if Frederick's banner had said something different, the outcome might have been different, depending on what the banner said, obviously. However, now days, its hard to use your freedom of speech in any form or fashion without offending some sort of religion or particular group of people. I think that schools might start trying to take advantage of students and their online activities and start nailing them because so many students are un-aware of their rights. I would of sided with Frederick. He was off campus and technically school was not in session. I don’t agree with the banner, but I think that this case completely violates his rights as a U.S. citizen.

9/27/2008

Kaycee
Irving, TX Nimitz H.S
I think that in this specific case the Supreme Court made right decision. Although the even it was made off the actual school grounds it was still a school hosted event in which the student attended. It’s the same as going on a class field trip. Even though, you are not at the school the same school rules apply. And it was promoting drug use, which is in no way acceptable. Students, at least in high school or lower, have very few actual rights in school. The constitution says that we have these rights but in actuality, when we are at school or school sponsored events we have very few rights. So many things can be taken as a distraction to learning. In my school we are not allowed to have colored hair, hair that is not a natural color, because the school says it is a distraction to other students. But if they were actually to ask these said students, most of them would probably think it interesting at first but once class starts they wouldn’t be just starring at the kid with purple hair. Schools are, in a way, their own government. If a student were to talk back to a teacher in school, without being rude or using inappropriate language, they would still get in trouble because they didn’t agree with what the teacher said and they voiced that opinion. We can say all we want to, as long as the teachers don’t hear us.

9/25/2008

Sally J. Pd 2
Philadelphia, northeast high school
Well, if the banner was desplayed off the campus, the principal has no right to punish Frederick, because I dont think that what he does outside school concerns her. I think that Frederick should have not been punished. Even if the banner was none political, I think we all as students have a right to speak out, as of "freedom of speech". I think students that will hear this story, will speak out more and will get the point across that we should have a right to freedom of speech, even if we are young adults. Frederick should have been pleded not guilty. If he was in the school grounds and desplayed that banner, than I would agree that he should have been punished, but not when its out of school grounds. Many students have done such things as Frederick and as far as I know all got punished. That deppends on where and what they did. But this is about freedom of speech and that it was not happening it the school ground. yes the banner was offencive, religious wise, but school had nothing to do with that. If a local church got mad at him and took the matter to the court, than I'd understand, but school? I really think the court should have not ruled against him.

9/25/2008

Alejandra D.V.
Irving, Nimitz H.S.
I think the Supreme Court ruled wrongly against the student. He has a right to say what he wants out of school. If he was still in school when he did that, then the principal could punish him. Since it was outside of school, then federal officials should have told him something and punished him but not the school. The principal also has a right for taking down the banner and punishing the student because the student was representing his school. He needs to properly represent the school in a positive way not a negative way.

9/24/2008

Milu
Irving, Nimitz High School
I think the Supreme Court made the right decision in ruling against in the favor of the student. Even though he was not on school grounds, he is a student of their High school and he should not be promoting the usage of drugs. Yes, all students should have a freedom to say whatever they want too, but there should be a limit to what all students are allowed to say. If every student is able to say and express what they like to say, what kind of madness will we be living in? Although it does violate the first amendment in some sort of manner, this should be an exception to the amendment because this is something teenagers shouldn't be promoting on school or non school grounds.

9/24/2008

Christopher
Janesville, WI, George S. Parker High
What a joke. What makes one assume that the bong in mention was being used for illegal substances? Such paraphanelia is used to smoke tobacco. If his banner said "Smoke marijuana", then it would have been promoting illegal substance use. Even if, so what? I think it's hilarious that this actually made it to the Supreme Court. Don't we have better things to worry about?

9/24/2008

Chloe
Janesville, Parker, WI
I think the students wearing the arm bands should have been allowed to wear them. I don't think they were causing a disruption.

9/24/2008

Chadkb5
Janesville, Parker, WI
I believe that the student should not have got in trouble because it wasn't at school or during school time, so the only people who should be able to punish him should be the police if he broke some sort of law.

9/24/2008

Lavonne
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
In the Morse v. Frederick case, although Joseph Frederick was not at school, I do believe that his principal Deborah Morse had the right to punish him for his questionable banner displaying the slogan "Bong Hits For Jesus". First of all, even though Frederick wasn't technically on campus he was at a school event. Second of all, the banner,regardless of the intended meaning, was disruptive to the parade. The student even admitted that his intention was to draw enough attention to himself to be on tv. The principal received criticism for tearing down the banner and punishing the student, but how much more criticism would she have received if she allowed him to proceed as a member of her school, with his unruly behavior? I have to say that I am disappointed that valuable supreme court time was wasted on a matter such as this. This nation has so many important issues to deal with, but we chose to spend time and media coverage on something rather trivial in a way. I know that the issue really isn't about the slogan as much as it is the students' rights to free speech, but In cases such as Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the students who got in trouble got suspended for wearing armbands protesting the Vietnam War. Their case had meaning and their rights were infringed upon. They had something to say about a real and serious issue. They wanted their views about an important topic to be known to others. "Bong Hits for Jesus"?-how can this even compare to previous cases protesting students' rights? In my opinion this case wasn't about students' rights; it was about students' wrongs.

9/24/2008

Scott B. 5
Parker High School, Janesville, WI
I think there are two sides to this debate. On one side the person showed his faith by displaying Jesus which is freedom of religion and should have the right to do so. On the other side he displays bong which is just a word and could be viewed as disrespectful but how do we know that Jesus is not taking bong hits in heaven. Everyone has their right to an opinion. No, he should not have gotten in trouble.

9/23/2008

Yassmeen
philadelphila,pa, University City High School
I think Fredrick should have been punished because drugs should not be promted anywhere. I dont think he was playing with that banner he probably do the drugs. Its school time if he felt is though he wanted to protest he should of waited after school or shouldnt came to school at home.

9/22/2008

Murad
Seattle, Wa, Hrc Seattle
I think that Morse vs Frederick was a case of a student trying to have fun and a woman being ticked off for no reason and that Frederick wasn't disruptive in any way because he was not in a learning environment. Therefore the only reason it got to that point was because the teacher made something a child put on his own sighn at the olympics something that affected his learning. It went too far.

9/22/2008

Mengshi W.
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
As a student, I believe that regardless where is location you will always have your freedom of speech. But when you used your freedom of speech, the speech involved in not just base on your opinions on the objectives but also the message your sending out to the public of nation. As a student, the delegate of the school, your action and speech need to be considering on your action. Especially when your banner promoted drug use. I personally think that you used your freedom of speech when your being calculate by opponent. You used your freedom of speech to defense yourself.

9/20/2008

Michelle
Philadelphia, Central High School
I think that unless the school already had a rule in place about this, they should not have the power to do anything about it. Joseph was not on school grounds and he was not promoting a school event. The principal should not be able to do anything about this. They need limitations too!

9/20/2008

Charles
Philadelphia, Central High
First off, it's almost impossible to disrupt a sporting event with a banner. Next, "bong hits 4 jesus" is a great message. Third, it could be a political message, implying biblical mention of marijuana usage and the immoral laws prohibiting usage of such.

9/18/2008

Sarah
Northport N.Y., NMS. Mrs.Dolle. Period 8
I think that the school had no right to punish Joseph. He has freedom speech and should be able the express his opions.

9/18/2008

Olivia
Northport, Northport Middle School,Dolle pd.8
I think that promoting drug use to any person is wrong but Frederick has the right to use his freedom of speech to promote whatever he wants as long as it's off school grounds. I think the teacher and the supreme court were both wrong Frederick should not be punished for expressing his own ideas and beliefs off of school grounds.

9/18/2008

Olivia
Northport, Northport Middle School,Dolle pd.8
I think that promoting drug use to any person is wrong but Frederick has the right to use his freedom of speech to promote whatever he wants as long as it's off school grounds. I think the teacher and the supreme court were both wrong - Frederick should not be punished for expressing his own ideas and beliefs off of school grounds.

9/18/2008

John
Washington, NJ, Warren Hills High School
School administrators need to know their limits as a person of power and authority. Outside of the school administrators are no better than me and you, and shouldn't have the authority to punish for actions off school grounds. If something is that offensive and deserves punishment, why not involve the police?

9/18/2008

Adetayo
Washington, Warren Hills Regional High School
The school's actions were inappropriate because the student was off school grounds. This was a legal matter to be addressed by local law enforcement not by the school.

9/18/2008

Faith S.
Washington, Warren Hills
I think that he should not have gotten in trouble. What happened to freedom of speech? Everyone is allowed their opinions and it was even off school grounds.

9/18/2008

Shakira
washington, warren hills
I don't think that schools have the right to exercise power over a student that wasn't doing anything wrong on school grounds. Punishment outside school grounds should fall on the shoulders of the law.

9/18/2008

Emma
Asbury, Warren Hills Regional HIgh School
Schools are able to punish students for what they wear, prohibiting drugs, alcohol and sexual references on clothing worn to school. Whether or not free speech is a valid concern in school is a moot point. Freedom of speech protects all of these formats, including the banner, yet schools have been censoring students, their clothes, school newspapers and banners for decades without comment from the public. The question is not if his student is protected but if the amendnment applies in schools at all. Up until this point the precedent has been to allow schools the final word on expression in their school. To change this would have to be a conscious, purposeful effort.

9/18/2008

Kelley
Washington, Warren Hills High School
I believe that everyone has the right to speak out. People need to respect other's opinion. If students want to wear arm bands in school, then let them. It's their way to speak out. For "Bong hits for Jesus," the boy should not have been punished. He was not in school. He stated his opinion outside of school. He should not have been punished.

9/18/2008

Ian
Washington, WHRHS
Schools overall, should not be able to punish students for events that go on outside of the normal school day. At school, rights can be limited by the administration to protect other students, and create a better learning environment. Out of school however, students are guaranteed the same rights of all other citizens, as written in the Constitution (Amendment 14, clause 1). Therefore, the administration has no right to abridge his freedom of speech.

9/18/2008

Katie
Washington, Warren Hills Regional High School
I feel the principal had no right to suspend the student for the banner. The fact is, it was OFF school property and it was HIS opinion. If the student felt the need to express his love with "bong hits for Jesus," then he should be able to because it was part of his rights in being a citizen. If any other person at the parade had done this (not being from the school), they would not have been penalized, and this student should have never been in trouble. His banner did not offend the public personally, and the supreme court seems to have stepped out of line in their decision.

9/18/2008

Kelley
Washington, Warren Hills High School
Joseph did not present any clear or present danger toward anyone else that was with him. It was just his opinion. Not everyone has the same religion or the same views or any topic. Let him speak his mind.

9/18/2008

X.W.P.
Washington, Warren Hills Regional High School
I think it's ridiculous to suggest that a school can take action against a student for acting in a questionable manner off of school property. Classes were dismissed for the day and simply because this student was in the presence of his fellow classmates and teachers does not make it a school event, even if it was sanctioned as an acceptable social event by the school. There is very little basis off which the school can make a case for punishing the student. His freedom of speech far outweighs the school's authority in this case because the school technically isn't even involved in the incident.

9/18/2008

Christy
Washington, Warren Hills Regional High School
The Supreme Court's 2006-2007 decision on the Morse vs. Frederick issue was wrong. By allowing principal Deborah Morse to punish the student for presenting what he believes, it is going against the first amendment. The statement "...even though it occurred, technically, off the campus..." makes the situation even more ridiculous; the high school has no control of what the students do after hours, and therefore if something is witnessed that would be against the school's code, it is technically not the school's responsibility to take action. If it is believed to be a serious crime, then the police department should have been the first to be involved, and not the school. The 14th amendment gives every person equal protection under the law, and by punishing the student, it is going against the first amendment, of freedom of speech. Although the school's reasoning can be seen, since the poster was about drug use, the incident occurred outside of the school property, and not during the time in which school is in session. Joseph Frederick definitely should not have been suspended for his actions; the Supreme Court's decision had violated his freedom of speech. Comparing this to the decision of letting the KKK broadcast their beliefs on television, shows that some of the decisions made by the Supreme Court are contradicting the rights given to the people by the founding fathers over 200 years ago. The case should definitely be looked over, and the overturning of the decision should definitely be an option.

9/18/2008

Jackie
Washington, Warren Hills Reg. High Schol
I disagree with the ruling of Morse v. Frederick. The article claimed that school was dismissed. If that was the case then the teachers and principal had no responsibility over Joseph. Just because he was facing the school doesn't mean that his intent was to aim the message at the school. He even admitted he wanted to be on television. The Supreme Court created the "clear and present danger" test to decide court cases dealing with Freedom of Speech. What danger did the banner create? No one was hurt or anything like that. It didn't create danger. If someone didn't like the message the banner said then it is their responsibility to look away. Joseph Frederick's message didn't reflect on the school. It didn't make people say "Oh my, what are they teaching kids at that school!?"

9/18/2008

Salogel
Bahwah, BRHS
I think that the school had no right to punish Frederick, since school was dismissed and it was not technically a field trip.

9/18/2008

Sasha
Washington, Warren Hills
I agree with the decision. He was under the supervision of teachers and the principal while at a school event. He should be punished by the school. The banner was disruptive and therefore, the principle acted properly by taking it down and punishing Joseph.

9/18/2008

Kelley
Washington, Warren Hills High School
Joseph did not present any clear or present danger toward anyone else that was with him. It was just his opinion. Not everyone has the same religion or the same views or any topic. Let him speak his mind.

9/18/2008

Mike
Washington, WHRHS
I think that Frederick was protected under his First Amendment rights to show the banner. First, he was not on school grounds, second, while it was during conventional school hours, school was dismissed early, and third, his banner was not obscene and did not interfere with the learning environment the school tries to create. Students in our schools are citizens of the United States and should be able to exercise their first amendment rights so long as it does not prevent others from learning. Once we start to limit our freedom of speech, where do we stop?

9/18/2008

Gina
Washington, WHHS
I agree with Frederick. Classes were dismissed and he was on public property, so all of his first amendment rights should apply. I feel like the school sanctioned event is kind of a stretch..and teachers and students were only there together because it was such an important event that everyone wanted to attend.

9/18/2008

Xavier
Washington, Warren Hills Regional High School
I think that the school has no jurisdiction over what is happening off of the school grounds and as such should not be able to punish the student for any activity he partakes in outside of school grounds. If this event were to happen during school hours or on school grounds the story would be different, but it is not so the school had no right to punish Frederick.

9/18/2008

Brandon
Northport, N.Y., N.M.S Dolle per. 3
I think that Frederick does have the freedom of speech but he shouldnt have put that banner up while in a school related activity.

9/18/2008

Danielle
Northport, N.Y. - NMS Dolle Pd.8
Freedom Of Speech isn't effected when you step into school. Mrs. Morse did the inncorrect thing by posting the banner.

9/18/2008

Hoon-hee
Northport NY, NMS Mrs.Dolle Per.8
I think Students should have right to say what's in there mind if it's too inappropriate, they should give him a punishment to him. I think it depends on what the student says.

9/18/2008

Andrew R Dolle per 8
ny, nms
The school is right and wrong because it is off school grounds but it is promoting drugs!

9/18/2008

Shela
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle, Dolle pd.1
I think that what Frederick did was wrong but I don't think that he should have been punished because he wasn't on school grounds. If it was a field trip and there were things like permission slips saying he was with the school than he should have been punished.

9/18/2008

Cyndee
Northport, N.Y., NMS Dolle pd. 3
I think that yes, Frederick did have freedom of speech but that only goes to a certain extent in schools. The schools have their own rules about what can and cant be said on school grounds so I think the Supreme Court and the school had the right to punish him but I don't know if they needed to.

9/17/2008

Dave
Northport, nms
I disagree that Frederick got in trouble for speaking his opinions. He didn't do any harm to the school or people so why should he get punished, that just tells us that our freedom of rights is limited as students.

9/17/2008

G. L. Period3
Anthony High School, Anthony, TX
Both cases have freedom of speech limits on school grounds, during school hours, and school activities. If students wear or phrase something that symbolizes something that offends anyone or causes a disturbance and more students get involved the school has an authority to enforce a policy against it.

9/17/2008

George
Anthony High School, Anthony TX
While I do respect our needs for protection of our right to speech, we must recognize that in this case the school would have been held liable for the students actions. Therefore it was necessary that the school protect the interests of all those involved.

9/17/2008

Jackie
El Paso, AHS
I do think the banner was offensive and shouldnt have been advertised in a school event. I didnt think the school should've been able to punish him in his actions after they released students from school. His actions were wrong but he should be allowed to speak and advertise as he pleases.

9/17/2008

Haley
anthony tx, anthony high school
We should all be able to say what we want in moderate respectable ways. Anything we do during school or school activities can be punished by the district. Any student who has not done anything wrong on school could not be punished. Wearing shirts or logos couls be worn as long as it does not disturb educational time.

9/17/2008

Ivonne G
Anthony Tx, AHS
We think that he should not have gotten in trouble. The school suspended him for that banner which people could have easily just looked away and pretended it wasnt there. It was such a little problem to go all the way to the supreme court. They should focus on bigger and real problems. He had the right to just put that.

9/17/2008

Jairo
anthony Tx, anthony high school
We agree in favor of the school because the banner was uneseccary for that particular event and it occurred across the steet from the school during school hours.

9/17/2008

Raven tpd5
Philadelphia, NEHS
I believe that if you say or do something wrong in school the school should be able to punish them. I think that if a student does something off school grounds, as long as what they did had nothing to do with the school itself it should be up to the parents of the child and the authorities to correct them. As far as this case is concerned, I don't think that the student should have gotten into trouble because he was speaking his mind and he was not hurting anyone and he didn't do it on school grounds. People say that all American citizens have certain rights but it seems to me that when it comes to people under 18 those rights are always questioned. Children are always given less credit then they deserve.

9/17/2008

Jeanette
Anthony, Anthony Tx.
We think what he did was wrong because it was distractive to the students because it was during a school activity. If he wanted to do it, he should just done it on his own time. But he should have also been able to express his opinion on drug laws. It was just something small that shouln't have been made such a big deal of.

9/17/2008

Dan
Northport, N.Y. Northport Middle School Dolle pd3
I strongly disagree that Frederick should have been punished for expressing what he thought was right. I agree with other people that the courts decision was violating the First Amendment and I thought that the principal had no right to punish the student off school grounds.

9/17/2008

Emily
Northport, N.Y. - NMS
I disagree because Fredrick posted it outside of school property, where the principal has no control. By taking down the sign, the principal was acting on something that wasn't in her place to take down. Really it should of been the police who should of taken it down, not the principal.

9/17/2008

anthony
northport n.y., northport middle dollep4
I don't think principals should be able to punish kids off school grounds but if there supporting a drug like Frederick did I think the principal should of talked to him instead of punishing him, off of school grounds.

9/17/2008

Tom Per. 8 Dolle
Northport, n.y., NMS
I think that Joe should take some punishment for what he did. But he has the freedom of speech so technically he has the freedom of speech.

9/17/2008

Alexis
northport n.y., Northport Middle, Dolle Per.3
I think this is totaly unfair. This student has every right to say whatever he wants, and the school can't stop him. If you ask me, this is totaly violating his rights

9/17/2008

Tara Ms. Dolle 8th per.
Northport, N.Y. - Northport Middle School
I disagree with the school and the court. it was totally un- fair because it was off of the school grounds. It didn't harm anyone and it didn't effect the educational program.

9/17/2008

Doug
NY, NMS/Mrs Dolle/per4
I think that he had his right because he wasn't on campus so he wasn't under the schools control.

9/17/2008

Johnathan
Northport, NY, NMS Dolle pd. 1
I feel that this student abused his rights. This was not a political or religious banner. You have religious freedom, and by putting Jesus in the middle of the banner does not make it religious. Nor was it a political banner.Since it was a school function the principle had every right to take down the banner. In school you have limitations to your rights.You also have to follow the guidelines to your school. All together I feel that the court's decision was appropriate

9/17/2008

Tom Per. 8 Dolle
Northport, N.Y. - Nms
I dissagree. He has the freedom of speech but should receive some punishment.

9/17/2008

Shela
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle, Dolle pd.1
I think that what Frederick did was wrong but I don't think that he should have been punished because he wasn't on school grounds. If it was a field trip and there were things like permission slips saying he was with the school than he should have been punished.

9/17/2008

Katie
Nothport Ny, Northpot Middle school Dolle period 4
I think what fredericks did was wrong, but that it was not the schools right to punish him. He was off campus and that didn't give the school the right to punish him. If people were really unhappy with it then they should have bought it to the town or county. I think it is kind of creepy how the supreme court over ruled fredrick and this definatley shows that as a student your freedom of speech is limited.

9/17/2008

Nick
northport, NY, NMS
I think while if you do something on school grounds they can punish you but when you are off school grouds they shouldn't be able to punish you for that.

9/17/2008

Shela
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle, Dolle pd.1
I think that what Frederick did was wrong but i don't think that he should have been punished because he wasn't on school grounds. If it was a field trip and there were things like permission slips saying he was with the school than he should have been punished.

9/17/2008

Ben
NMS, Northport NY, pd.3Dolle
I think Fredrick should be punished but not by the school. I think he should be punished by the town because he wasn't on school grounds. He should be punished because it said you should do drugs. It wasn't really about religion so he shouldn't be protected by the constitution.

9/17/2008

Corrie
Northport, nms Dolle period 7
I belive that a student should be able to have freedom of speech in school as long as they don't abuse this right. In this case I think the banner was offensive. I think that the kid should have been punished, but not by the school because he was off campus. I don't think that the Supreme Court made the right decision. I don't think that the school had any right to punish Frederick outside of school.

9/17/2008

Paige
Northport Middle School, Northport N.Y., Dolle prd.7
I think that it was wrong to do on Frederick's side, especially since he brought religion into it by using the word "Jesus." I agree that he should be punished, but it shouldn't be up to Principal Morse since it wasn't on school grounds. It should have been up to the town mayor. As for the Supreme Court's decision, I think that they were VERY wrong. It should be protected by the First Amendment. It was still wrong of Frederick to try his power and then say, "You can't punish me according to the country's First Amendment." Although if he had gotten away with it because the First Amendment, it still would have been wrong.So over all I think it was good that he was punished, but it should have been protected by the First Amendment.

9/17/2008

Erin D. per 3
Northport NY, Northport Middle School
I think he was in error. The article does not properly describe the situation for what it was. Text such as that in the view of normal students going to school, which is supposed to be a safe environment, should be removed and prohibited. Even though there is freedom of speech, the justice system has every right to interfere with what the students go to school and see.

9/17/2008

Tyler
northport ny, nms Dolle per.4
I agree with Dave. We all are intitled to our opinons so Fredrick should not be punished.

9/17/2008

Maggie
New York, Northport Middle School
M.T. per.3 Mrs.Dolle I think that what Fredrick did was wrong but maybe he shouldn't have been punished so harshly. He was just speaking out but in a very wrong way and what he wrote wouldn't have been good for people who look up to him. He made a bad decision.

9/17/2008

Brendan
egan, pd. 3 Ms. Dolle Northport middle school
I believe that the banner was an anti religious quote but free speech of the first amendment protects his rights to what he expresses no matter what it means. But, consequences will come if the expression is racial or anti religious. Therefore it is a offense which can lead to alternate consequences that can find a loop hole in the constitution.

9/17/2008

Jake R
Northport, NY, NMS Dolle pd. 4
I think that he should get in trouble because he said something about drugs at a school function. And it's not right to put a religious view with a drug related sentence.

9/17/2008

Maggie
Northport, Ny., Northport Middle, Dolle pd.3
I don't think Frederick should have gotten in trouble. The banner was made off campus. It wasn't harming the school or anyone in it. He has the right to free speech and the right to free press. Making the banner probably wasn't the best decision, but I don't think it was fair for him to get suspended.

9/17/2008

Caitlin
new york, northport middle school
I think that it was unfair to punish Frederick threw school cause it wasnt on school grounds. I mean, it would make sense if the town had a problem with it but it was not the schools right to punish Frederick.

9/17/2008

Sophie
northport n.y., nms
I think that the kid should be able to say what he wants as long as it doesnt have to do with violence or illegal acts like drug use. I don't think she should have suspended him because he was off of campus but he was being a jerk about the situation.

9/17/2008

Tyler
northport n.y., nms
In the decisions of the Supreme Court in 2006, I think the school was right. A school field trip should have the same rules as school. And also the banner was bad.

9/16/2008

Gordon
NMS, Northport, NY Dolle pd. 1
I believe that the student shouldn't have been penalized by the school because they are off of school grounds. It should be the town's duty to punish the student.

9/16/2008

Alex
NMS, Northport, NY Dolle pd.1
What Frederick did was wrong. The banner was offensive. But the Supreme Courts ruling was very wrong. It completely violated the First Amendment. He was off school so how can a school punish him for it.

9/16/2008

Lukas
Northport,NY, Northport Middle School, Dolle pd. 1
I think that Frederick was wrong to do this and should have gotten in trouble but , it dose fall under his first and fourth amendment rights. He should receive a punishment but not too severe. I think students should have the right to express themselves and use their rights.

9/16/2008

S.
Northport, NMS,Dolle Period 1
This was really great, I agree with the court decision he was wrong to wave the banner. He offended many people, the one thing I disagree with is that it was off campus.

9/16/2008

Matt
Northport, NY, NMS Dolle Period 1
I think that the supreme court was wrong that they ruled against Frederick because they ruled against the First Amendment. i think that students should be able to write what they want to say and not get in trouble.

9/16/2008

Jason
Nortport Middle School,Northport, NY Dolle pd.1
I believe that the message portrayed in the banner were stupid and religiously offensive. However, the ruling in my opinion was incorrect. The teacher had no jurisdiction outside of school, no matter how offensive the banner was.

9/16/2008

Liam
NMS, Northport, NY Dolle, Period 1
I think the Supreme Court was wrong about the punishment. Frederick should have the freedom to speak his mind, although I don't think promoting drugs off school grounds is acceptable

9/16/2008

Meaghan
NMS, East Northport, NY Dolle, prd 1
I think that what he did was wrong. His rights were abused and obviously he was purposely trying to try the rights he was granted by the government. He should have not brought religion into this using the word "Jesus." I also think that this small incident was blown out of proportion. What he did was wrong and should be addressed, but I think that I should not have been addressed by the Supreme Court.

9/16/2008

Schuyler
NMS, Northport, NY, Dolle pd1
I think what Frederick did was wrong, but it wasn't right for the school to punish him. He was off campus, and although he was a student, if the people of the town were upset they should have brought it to town or state. I think what the supreme court did was wrong. It wasn't a good thing, but it was his right to express his opinions in public without being penalized by the school

9/16/2008

Amber B.
NMS Northport, NY mrs. dolle period1
I think that people should be able to say what they feel. i think that the courts decision was wrong because you should have the freedom of speech. I personally think that the banner was not offensive.

9/16/2008

Stephanie
NMS, Northport, NY Dolle period 1
I think he was using his rights in the wrong way to purposely promote drugs, which is wrong. He is not only involving himself in this situation, but everyone who is there and he is possibly endangering the lives of others. I think that he should be able to take punishment for his actions.

9/16/2008

Victoria
Northport, NMS,New York.Dolle period 1
I think the student abused his rights and offended jesus and many peoples religion. I think he promoted drugs. I believe the court made the correct decision by sending the kid to jail.

9/16/2008

Taylor
Nimitz High, Irving, TX
I think that seeing as how it was a harmless prank that it should have just been ignored. Since the offending banner was unfurled off of the campus then the principal was over stepping her bounds by trying to punish Fredrick. It was not her place to punish him for anything he did off campus. That would be like allowing her to punish him for speeding. I don't think that is what should be allowed if any punishment should have been given it should have been handled by the law enforcement, not by the principal of his school.

9/16/2008

Brooke
NMS, Northport, NY, Dolle,prd 1
I think what he did was wrong and he shouldn't have used the word "Jesus" he promoted drugs to not only himself but everyone around him. he also used a religion in his banner. I think he should be punished for his actions.

9/16/2008

Nikki
northport, northport middle school, dolle period 1
I don't think that the court made a good decision because it was off campus so some one else could of brought it up but it had nothing to do with the school so why did the school have to get involved i don't think anyone should have brought it up in court, its the First Amendment and they should of thought about what was going on before they did anything.

9/16/2008

Nick
Northport Middle School, Northport, NY
No, it does promote drugs and a little prejudice. No student should be able to promote a message like this. The first amendment because you shouldn't be able to take advantage of the law it says no where what you cant say or what you can but it doesn't mean you should be disrespectful and it insults the nations honor and makes it seem like we have no law or dignity

9/16/2008

Joe l
Northport Middle School Northport, NY
In my opinion, the Morse v. Frederick case though highly controversial is an example that even though Frederick was wrong and abused his freedom even though he may have been off of school grounds it was still at a school event. The event had been planned for the students to leave school early and go to the parade together. Therefore, he knew that all the students were going to be there and came up with his prank. Although this is controversial because of students’ freedom of speech it was still wrong for Frederick to unfurl his banner proclaiming, “Bong hits 4 Jesus” because that in many people’s opinion was promoting the use of drugs, although he may not think so. I think students should be allowed to have a banner at a parade if they wanted to and should be allowed freedom of speech but only to a certain extent even if you’re not at a school event. Freedom of speech if very important but should not be abused because everyone in school should know the use of vulgar and inappropriate language in school is not allowed. It can distract other students from learning and hindering there ability to learn. Most students respect that and keep it to themselves. Freedom of speech is important even in school and forms of “symbolic speech” should be allowed as long as it doesn’t disrupt students from learning. I believe the wearing of a black armband to make a statement against the war should be allowed because it’s not disruptive and students can get the same point across without the use of vulgar and inappropriate behavior. In conclusion, the First Amendment should protect students from censoring of speech as long as the student is using correct ways to get the message across whether at a parade or in the school.

9/16/2008

Michael
NMS, Northport, NY, Dolle Period 3
I think that the court made the right decision. The banner was inappropriate and I think it could have offended people who are religious. I think that the banner was supporting drug use and associating drug use with religion.

9/16/2008

Zach
Northport middle school, Northport, NY
I believe that student should have rights an should say what they want to say. The court decision was very inaccurate in Morse vs. Frederick,the banner was morally offensive to other people.

9/16/2008

Nick
Northport, Northport Middle School
I believe that students should have the right to say what is on their mind but they should not take advantage of the First Amendment. The students who put up this banner it said "bong his 4 Jesus" which is violating the freedom of speech for school grounds. Frederick was violating the code of conduct and therefor he caused a distraction and he imposed on the students and teachers official rights

9/16/2008

Levi
NMS, Northport, NY
I think that the banner was bad but he does have the right to right of press there.

9/16/2008

Courtney
NMS, Northport, NY Dolle per.4
I think that Frederick shouldn't have gotten in trouble for this banner because it occurred off campus. If this harmed the school in anyway then he should have a punishment. I do think there should be some sort of limit on Freedom of Speech because if everyone said what they thought, the world be in worse shape.

9/16/2008

Gabby
Northport, NMS Dolle period 4.
I think that Frederick shouldn't of gotten in trouble because he has his right to say what he would like, if this harmed the school then he should get in trouble.

9/16/2008

Jenna
Northport, NMS Dolle period 4
I think that Frederick shouldn't of get in trouble because he is aloud to say whatever he wants to say. I don't think his punishment should be that bad because he should be able to say what he has to say

9/16/2008

Sara
Northport, NMS Dolle period 4
I think Frederick shouldn't of gotten in trouble because of the First Amendment, freedom of speech, and also the fact that it was off the campus. The teachers shouldn't care what you are doing off campus.

9/16/2008

Jeff
NMS, Northport, NY
I feel that students should have a right to speak openly about how they believe or how they feel about certain circumstances. In the case of the banner that kid hung up, I feel that that is wrong and taking a little bit of advantage of free speech as a student. I think free speech is important because it makes a young person feel like they have a point too and that what they believe is important. An example for me would be religiously because I am a Christian and I want to share my religion and beliefs with other people without being worried about getting in trouble. Young people should have the right to speak out, but to a certain extent, because some don't think and just say that they should be able to do drugs only because they do it and that's wrong because it makes adults think that young people are doing that stuff and they just want it to be ok.

9/16/2008

Caroline
Northport, Northport Middle School Dolle period 4
This boy deserved to be punished because it is not nice to write bad things on a banner. If I have to decide this case I would go to his country today and make sure there is someone with all times to make sure he does not do anything bad. I am happy he was suspended so he can think about his actions. He might think it's cool but I disagree. The school district should put him in a different school district,so he can have a aide with him at all times.

9/16/2008

Briana 5pd
University City High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think that the principal didn't have anything to do with the banner so she should have got involved. If the banner didn't say nothing that's involving the school then the principal should have mind her business. i also think that we should have the right to say what's on our mind cause if we don't then who is going to listen to us if our parents don't.

9/16/2008

Derek
University city high school, Philadelphia, PA
I think it was wrong for the court to do that to him he does have the right to say what's on his mind.

9/16/2008

Dante J. 5th pd
University City High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think that when it comes to freedom of speech u should be allowed to say "Anything" u want as long as it doesn't involve someone livelihood and/or life because if your going to say freedom of speech then you should be free to say whatever you want,and in this story that is not the case. So when its all said and done if your not free to say what you want don't bring up freedom of speech!

9/16/2008

Nisha
UCHS, Phila, PA

Well I think that Frederick was right and he was wrong because he made and banner what was the point in him making a banner you do not need a banner to express your feelings that is why i think that Mr. Morse said something about it and the bad part about it is that the banner had something to do with drugs and it was a gang sign and the reason i think he is right is because the constitution says that we have a freedom of speech i just think that Frederick expressed his feelings the wrong way



9/16/2008

Marvin 5pd
University City High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think that the principal shouldn't have punish the student for saying what was on his mind.

9/16/2008

Julisa
Philadelphia, University City High School
I think that it depends what the banner says because students have a right to have displays, and banners in front of school. As long as it's not anything negative about that specific school or any other school.... and we should not get punished for it because we have a right to be heard.

9/16/2008

Tyreek 5th
UCHS. Philadelphia, PA

I think that it went too far. The only thing that he was doing was saying what was on his mind. So that goes to show you the rights we have as students. Just by saying what is on our mind we could get in trouble.



9/16/2008

Marvin 5pd
University City High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think that the principal shouldn't have punish the student for saying what was on his mind.

9/16/2008

Jahseem W. 5pd
Philadelphia,PA, University City High School
Even though the Fist Amendment states that you have freedom of speech I still don't think we have our rights as students and citizens. I don't think Frederick should have been punished because he does have that right to express how he feels even if he was promoting drugs. If it would have had something to do with religion or politics then it wouldn't have been a big problem.Also it was not done on school grounds so how was the principal able to punish him. So that goes to show that we as students do not have rights.

9/16/2008

Damion
University City, Philadelphia, PA
I strongly disagree that the principal should punish students because that they are talking about race or religion speech as you can see the voting board that most student strongly disagree that the First Amendment doesn't protect student outside of school.

9/16/2008

Lauren
Univeristy City High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think its ok for a student to say what on their mind; it's freedom of speech, which is not againts the law. But I do think the person should have permission to display their banner on school property.

9/16/2008

Misha W Pd 5th
Philadelphia , University Cty High School
I agree that what Frederick did was wrong.He offended many people by his banner.Many students don't think they have the rights as other people in this country.I think Frederick deserved any punishment that he received.

9/16/2008

Sabrina
University city, Phildelphia, PA
I don't think that that student should have got in trouble. My reason is because he wasn't on school property. Though the banner was wrong he shouldn't have got in trouble. I believe everyone has there own opinion and he told his on a banner. I don't think that student should have got in trouble for stating his opinion.

9/16/2008

Latasha PD5
University City, Phailadelphia, PA
The Constitution of the USA says that you have the freedom of speech but you really don’t .If you think about when you are in school you cant say what you want if you do you will get in trouble. Frederick made a banner that had nothing to do with school and it was off school ground. Morse the principal should have not say any thing to him because it was of school ground that showed you do not have the freedom of speech he should not get punish, for what he did by the school.

9/16/2008

Brittnye 5pd
philadelphia,pa, university city high school
I think any and every student,including religious student have the right to say what's on their minds. Even if it's offensive thats what freedom of speech its all about. I do not think that students should be punished nor judged for making a banner. The banner does not promotes bad judgement.People makes their own choices to do what they want.

9/16/2008

Shavonne
Philadelphia , University Cty High School
I agree with Frederick. I think that student shoul have more say about what goes on in their school.

9/16/2008

Dan
Northport Middle School, Northport, NY Dolle pd.4
I think that we have a right to say whatever we want to say and the courts decision wasn't fair.

9/16/2008

Takeira 6pd
Philadelphia, Unversity City
I think that their decision to punish him was wrong because everyone has a freedom of speech, regardless if there a student of teacher.

9/16/2008

Latoya 6pd
Philadelphia, University City High School
I think that we as students should have the right to express ourselves freely.I somewhat agree that he was wrong but at the same time how could they arrest him if he wasn't on campus he was off of school grounds and just wanted to speak freely of what was on his mind.

9/16/2008

James
West Philadelphia, University City Highschool
I think he shouldnt get punished because I know what he did was wrong but it was off campus so his outside life shouldnt affect his college life.

9/16/2008

Breyana 6th period
Philadelphia,PA, University City High School
As a student, I have the right to speak freely about religion, political issues, and my opinion on almost all matters. However, I must maintain a respectful speech and discourage the promotions of negative actions in my school, such as drug use.

9/16/2008

Ilesha
Purcell, UCHS
I think that Frederick should have been punished. But because it did not occur on school grounds. I don't think he should have gotten in trouble with his school. Therefore the ruling should have gone to Frederick.

9/16/2008

Shemika 6 pd
philadelphia, University H.S
I dont think that Fredrick should get in trouble because he has freedom of speech he has the right to say how he feel. The principal only did what she did because she dont think that it is right. It's alot of people the wish that the state should allow drugs to be legal. There is so many people that are out here doing drugs and the cops cant lock up everybody. I think that they should let him go!!!

9/16/2008

Tamara 6pd
Philadelphia , University City High School
I think that the ruling of the case was unfear because the banner wasn't on school grounds. If the banner that said do drugs was on school grounds, then he should have got arrested.

9/16/2008

Montez
phila, university city high school
I think that he should have been punished like a suspendsion but far as everything else it was to much. I would like to question the boy who wrote this inapproapriate comment.

9/16/2008

Teisha 6th period
Philadelphia, University City High School

I think that he should have been convicted. Cause if people are trying to get drugs off the streets and he is making banners that’s say something like that its wrong like he not doing anything but making making it hard to get drugs off the streets. But they could have limited his punishment like suspension or something like that but not that far.



9/16/2008

Shenera
Philadelphia,Pa, University City High School
Yes, I know my speech rights as a student. Reason why I say this is no matter how the students feel, we should be able to freely talk about anything that's on our minds. A banner is a banner and no matter how the school policy takes it, students like myself and others will say what we have to say regardless of what the school policy thinks.

9/16/2008

Breyana 6th period
Philadelphia,PA, University City High School
As a student, I have the right to speak freely about religion, political issues, and my opinion on almost all matters. However, I must maintain a respectful speech and discourage the promotions of negative actions in my school, such as drug use.

9/16/2008

Shakerah
philadelphia, University city
My speech rights as a student does not matter, our opininon goes in one ear out the other. The speech right as a student can become a stitutation because my peers does not know how to talk to one another and respect each other opinion.

9/16/2008

Kiayra {6th pd.}
Phialdelphia, Univesity City HS
Personally, I feel as though men, woman, children, young adults, any person in this world should have the freedom of speech. Although it was misleading and was a pro for illegal drugs, it is still counted as a freedom of speech. Frederick's decision to do the banner out of school, is better than to do it in school. I see it as though if that's wrong to do what Frederick did, look at all of the bannners for racism, rights, voilent acts, or WAR!! Morse was also right to promote that right to not have non-influenced banners,... so i really don't have a side i say just look at the world today.

9/16/2008

Norman
Philadelphia, University City
If I was the principal, I would have been getting ready to go home to my kids, instead of worring some dumb kids. But if I would get into that I would have let him off with a harsh warning.

9/16/2008

Jacob
philadelphia, university city H.S
I blieve that the First Amendment in the constituiton gives all U.S. citizens the right for free speech. Yet, as kids/minors it seems that we have been stripped of this right. In school kids have to watch what they say all the time because they can be penalized if they say the "wrong" thing. Now, maybe schools need to punish kids for saying things to have control, but in the court of law it shouldn't be ruled that a student was wrong for holding a banner. Also, if he was not on school property and I don't understand why schools have the power to punish kids for doing things outside of school, even if it's on the weekend. The right of free speech was given to us by our forefathers and schools shouldn't have the right to take it away from anybody.

9/16/2008

Aleah
Philadelphia, University City H.S.
I feel like a student should be able to express their thoughts or say what they want to say off school grounds. I don't even think that this young man should have been punished. Whatever was on his banner should not have concerned school authorities, whatever he promotes outside of school, off school grounds, is his business. They have no right over what he says out of his mouth, out of school.

9/16/2008

Kenneth 6pd
Philadelphia , University City High School
I think Frederick is not guilty because the First Amendment crealy states freedom of speech so he could say whaever he likes. I also think that Morse shouldnt been able to say anything about it because he said it off school grounds. I think Morse just dont like him because of something he did before in school.

9/16/2008

Destiney 6period
phliadelphia, university city high scool
I think he should get conviced because he should'nt be selling no type of drugs. Cause it's wrong to be selling to any student. That's not right because they wouldn't be right to sell to any one else.

9/16/2008

Dionna 6th pd
philadelphia , university city hs
I honestly think that the principal should have not punished the young man for his actions because you can not change how some one thinks or how someone feels. I think that even if the young man did write some thing that he was not supposed to write does not mean that you should punish someone for what they think. This is a free country and any and everyone can say any thing that they please. Every one is responsible for their own actions. It's not like people don't know what's right and what's wrong. People should know that smoking is bad. I hear thousands of people around my neighborhood every day telling me to smoke all the time but that does not mean anything. I don't think that the young man did any thing wrong so their for I don't think that he should have got punished .

9/16/2008

Bentley
philly, University City High School
I personally think everyone is allowed to say and where what they choose. He probably didnt mean to promote in a bad way it could of just been a fashion.

9/16/2008

Blake
Northport, N.Y., nms
I think Morse should have won the case becasue the thing he had did was off school grounds, its just like saying if you were to beat up a kid out of school the school would suspend you. the school wound not though.

9/16/2008

Brittany B.
philadelphia, Unversity City High School
Well I think it has something to do on what the banner says. But he wasn't on school grounds and if it did have anthing to do with the school the prinicpal shoulded have any thing to say about his presonal life.

9/16/2008

Kevin
Philadelphia, University City High School
I think that students should have freedom of speech. I say that because everybody should be able to say what they want to say, ok he made a banner about drugs but if it was in his spear time then it should not matter long as he keeps it off school grounds.

9/16/2008

Frank
philadelphia, University City HS
I think you should have the freedom of speech.

9/16/2008

Frank
philadelphia, University City HS
I think you should have the freedom of speech.

9/16/2008

Fallynn
Philadelphia, UCHS
The student should have the freedom of speech.

9/16/2008

Natasha
philadelphila,pa, university city high scool
I think that the boy should've got in trouble over something like that cause it was his option and Freedom Of Speech.

9/16/2008

Robert
philadelphia, university city high school
I disagree with the schools decision. I disagree because Frederick was off of school grounds. I mean also we have a freedom of speech but I don't think that our right schould be abused though. But for him to do what he did off of school grounds I don't think they should have gotten involved. But I do understand where they're coming from though.

9/16/2008

Lonell pd 7
Philadelphia , university city hs
I don"t think he should be punished becaused it was off of school grounds. What does a principal have to do with students off of school ground? I think really no matter what it was it was none of his business.

9/16/2008

Shardae
Philadelphia, University City High School
I believe that everyone has a freedom of speech. Just because others feel what he displayed was disrespect, thats what he felt. No one can judge you for what you say. Thay can disagree but what can they really do.

9/16/2008

Danielle
Northport, N.Y., Northport Middle School
I think that Frederick was first of all, stupid to make that banner. Deborah Morse was correct in punishing the student.

9/16/2008

Christianne
northport N.Y., nms dolle.4
People have the right to say things but that does not mean you should always say it.

9/16/2008

Jenna A.
Dolle 8th perodd, NMS, Newport, N.Y.
Who cares what people are smoking...its their problem...it was probibly a joke anyways...they should let it go.

9/16/2008

Emma
Dolle, Nms, N.Y.
The students should be able to speak and say whatever they want. The teachers of the school shouldent get into the students buisness. He probably didnt mean any harm, just teachers stay out of it.

9/16/2008

Danielle
Northport, N.Y., Northport Middle, Ms. Dolle
Ok, Frederick's banner was about drugs? Wow. I think the decision was right.

9/16/2008

Sarah
northport n.y., northport middle school dolle period 4
I think that it is unfair that the principal got him in trouble, what he did was wrong in my opinion but if he was technically off school grounds he should not have gotten punished.

9/16/2008

Elizabeth K
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle School, Dolle pd.1
I think that it most definetly matters what the banner says.If it just says something harmless, like, "Go Olympics" or if it says something political and not harmful or rude than it should also be ok. But if it's something like what that banner said it should not be allowed.That would be a disrespect to the school and students.

9/16/2008

Brown
northport n.y., northport middle school dolle p.8
I think i agree with all the other students i think that poor kid was just telling his fellings and the teachers are telling us that we need to tell are feelings and now there suspeneding a kid who was just doing what he was always told to do that is just sad

9/16/2008

Elise
northport n.y., northport middle school, Dolle pd. 3
I think the court was wrong to decide that the school was right. They sould have decided that Frederick had the right to freedom of speach. They did this for the other students. So could they have said that for the person in Alaska. Every student in every state should have equal rights. What if someone in another state did that what would the courts say?

9/16/2008

Meeza
nunya buisness, NMS
I think that kid was to post a banner promoting drug use because drugs are illegal so he's basically telling everyone to do illegal acts but then again he still has freedom of speech, even though its wrong to do it he can still do it because of his freedom of speech but that banner is inappropriate and he should get in some sort of trouble at least.

9/16/2008

patrick
Northport N.Y., Northport middle school
Even though thebanner may have been innapropriate, the boy was off of school property and has his right to freedom of speech.

9/16/2008

Alyssa
Northport, N.Y. - Northport Middle Dolle p.3
I believe that people do have the right to freedom of speech but you should use it wisely because some of the things you say can hurt or effect other people.

9/16/2008

Emily
Northport N.Y., Northport middle school, Dolle per. 3
I think that students should have the right to say what is on their minds. they should be able to express themselves in an appropriate manner. Joeseph should have not gotten in trouble from his principal, but could have from someone else, because he was not on school grounds and technically the principal cannot punish him. I think someone else can because he was abusing his freedom of speech rights. I do think if someone else accused him, besides his principal, he should have gotten in trouble. If the banner said something else it should have had a different consiquence. the punishment or accusation should defitnally depend on the action being done. If the banner was not offending anyone it should have just been taken down and no one should have gotten in trouble, but if someone was very offended he was punished correctly.

9/16/2008

Emily
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle School
I think that the Supreme Court was right in their decision to punish Frederick. The first amendment does indeed include the freedom of speech, but the freedom of speech does have its limits. You can't say whatever you want whenever you want in a public place if it damages others' rights. The other kids at his high school had a right to live in a safe environment and not be offended by their classmates. Also, if I presented this evidence in court and they didn't accept it, I could also say that although the Constitution does not say specifically that you can't say anything that damages another's rights, the 10th amendment states that any laws not stated in the bill of rights would be determined by the states or the people. The school determined the rule of not displaying a banner with a harmful message on it.

9/16/2008

Erin
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle School
They don't really describe the whole story in the summary. I think Frederick was in error. Even though it wasn't in school grounds, it was visable to students. The article doesn't tell you what happened. The school has every right to regulate disturbing messages such as this and make sure the school is a proper enviroment for students.

9/16/2008

Madison
northport, n.y., nms
I believe that the principal does not have the right to give suspension to a student that did something like that off school grounds. If the banner was on school property and students were offended then that is a different story, but other than that I think he has freedom of speech and he didn't put this on school property so he should have won the case.

9/16/2008

Colin
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle
I think he should be punished by the police not the school. They had nothing to do about it

9/16/2008

Mark
Irving, Tx., Nimitz
When we are in school, as with any government building, everyone, not just students, waive their constitutional rights. In the Morse v. Frederick case, the student was not on school property. Should anyone get to say whatever they want, complete freedom of speech? Absolutely not. As a Christian, I take offense to this banner, because Jesus stands for something more than 'bong hits'. The whole purpose of government is to establish a set of rules that people will follow, to maintain order. If we did not have a government, then we would be savages, never getting anything accomplished.

9/16/2008

Andrea
Irving Tx., Nimitz High School
The Supreme Court's ruling in Morse v. Frederick seems unfair to the student, saying that basically we aren't allowed to have our own freedom of speech even when we are not on school campus. It seems that the Supreme Court will favor the one who is wanting to punish the students, whether that be teachers, principals or administrators, and will not follow what the student says no matter if it is a positive thing or not. Students should have the ability to speak their mind at school-sponsored events, with a certain amount of dignity. I don't believe that profane language, down-grading words and words with negative connotations are things that should be said, but we should at least be given the chance to say what it is that we want and not have to worry about what someone might say to us. I know that Frederick’s banner was not appropriate but, he was trying to get his point across and like he said “get on television”. If his banner would not have used “bong hits” and “Jesus” in the same way, it probably would have been taken differently, almost in a way that no one would end up caring. I don't know if I would have ruled the way the Supreme Court did, knowing that he was off campus and just at a school-sponsored event. I realize that being involved in a school activity is like representing your school, but it was freedom of speech and he said nothing wrong. I think that students should be able to say whatever it is that they want off campus, but when they are on campus, they should be respectful of the people that are around and of the campus rules. I don't believe that it will affect online activities or the state and local laws, they will just try and keep things in the way that they want but there will not be a way to say that words online or off campus are illegal and not allowed to be said.

9/16/2008

Jake L.
Northport N.Y., Northport Middle School, Dolle pd.1
I think that the school should not be able to punish kids off school grounds. But to some level, there should be limitations to freedom of speech - kids should not be able to be too extreme and hurt somebody with their words like promote drugs. I would have decided the case guilty but ONLY if on campus and only if the language was too extreme, but not guilty if not on campus. It's not the school's right to comment on that.

9/15/2008

Xavier
Philadelphia , Widener
I think students should have the right to say what is on their minds. I think that the court's decision was not fair in Morse vs. Frederick, because I didn't think the banner was offensive.

9/15/2008

Ana
Irving, Nimitz
I think that it depends on waht the banner says. If it does not say anything concerning the school, then I think there shouldn't be a punishment given. Now if the banner publishes something not pleasant about the school, then something has to be done. While we are at school, at church, at the mall, or everywhere the First Amendment can protect us , but if we have done what we were punished for then I think that the Amendment can do very little to help us.

9/14/2008

An
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Frederick was in the wrong for his action and the Supreme Court was doing the correct thing. He does have the power of free speech but when it is a speech that promotes or lead to harm, there should be a sort of punishment. If everyone went around saying what they really thought, then the world would be in a distraught place. There is a limit on what we can say in public and when it is appropriate to speak what you think. Even though he was off campus, his banner was causing disruption to the society. It is better to be punish by the school then by the state for it could lead to worst punishments. I would had let the school decide on his punishment since he is still a minor. With some of the past cases, the Court made the right decisions on what is appropriate for people and their First Amendment.

9/14/2008

Kattie
Waynesboro Area High School, Waynesboro, PA,
I agree that what Frederick did was wrong. He should not be abusing his rights at all. In no way what he did was right. He offended many people by his banner; people that are religious and people that are against drugs. Freedom of speech does not mean that you have the freedom to say whatever it is that you have on your mind. Some students will argue that they don't get the rights that they should but we get the same rights as everyone in this country. Doing what he did was wrong, and he deserved any punishment that he received.

9/14/2008

Bethan J.
Gill St. Bernard's School, AT. Gladstone, NJ
In my opinion, the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Morse v. Frederick was correct. The First Amendment does allow for free speech, however this right should not be abused. Frederick was promoting drug use, which could easily have a negative effect on any of the students attending the near-by high school. Therefore, I believe that it was not only principal Deborah Morse’s right to punish her student, but her responsibility.

9/14/2008

StephenWPD2
Philadelphia, NEHS
The Supreme Court's ruling in Morse v. Frederick is different in the fact that before, schools didn't consider outside to be part of the school's policy. The schools now believe that whereever students go, it reflects on the school so there has been measure put in place to limit out freedom of expression. I don't agree with this because the schools should only punish students if there was something that involved offense of ones rights. I think the ruling clashes with private domain and how students are able to express ourselves without fearing punishment. Something like this has an important effect on student's minds, instead of breeding positive actions, it could be breeding fear; and that fear could lead to other means of action that could be more harmful than the solution. For me, it looks like a double edged blade that means good but then makes us wonder about side effects.

9/14/2008

Riniah
Irving, Nimitz HS
I think that the principal was right for punishing the boy for his banner. He should not have brought something like that to a school function because it was not allowed. If the rules that apply at your school during school hours apply to after school functions then they need to be followed, plain and simple. I could understand if he were somewhere the rules didn't apply but since he was not he doesn't really have an argument. Especially if he knew there was a possibilty he could get in trouble.

9/14/2008

Alan
Irving, Nimitz High School
I think Frederick should be punished because he promoted drugs. He might have thought the prank was funny, but he should know what is inappropriate. Although he might be out of school property, he still could have offended someone who was walking along the street. Also it was a school related event, so the principal has the right to punish the student. The case might limit the students' speech rights, but they should know what is right and what is wrong.

9/14/2008

Marcus
Irving, Nimitz
Most students don't even have freedom of speech rights like they think because they are still minors and the Constitution hasn't protected them yet, if you will. That being said, Frederick was of age, meaning he does have the right to speak out his mind. Unfortunaley for Frederick and other citizens, free speech is dead. Censors are everywhere trying to protect everyone from being politically incorrect or outlandish. Frederick wasn't intentionally trying to harm anyone, he and his friends were just trying to have some fun. I'm not surprised by the Supreme Court's decision given today's circumstances, but I definitely disagree on this one. They really should allow the freedoms that the Bill of Rights guarantees.

9/14/2008

Carolyn
Gladstone, Gill St. Bernards (AT)
I disagree with the court's decision. I think that since Frederick was off school grounds and was not hurting anyone the school shouldn't have suspended him. As part of the First Amendment students should feel free to express their opinions as long as they do it within reason. I understand the principal's right to take down the banner because it was probably disruptive, but students should not be limited to only expressing their political views. Freedom of speech shouldn't be restricted. The purpose of the first amendment was to allow people to express themselves freely and I don't think that it should be different on school grounds.

9/13/2008

Thomas
Gill St. Bernard's AT, Gladstone, NJ
As a student, I have the right to speak freely about religion, political issues, and my opinion on almost all matters. However, I must maintain a respectful speech and discourage the promotions of negative actions in my school, such as drug use.

9/12/2008

Yuliya L 2nd Mrs Wiesberg
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I disagree that Frederick got in trouble for speaking his opinions. He didn't do any harm to the school or people so why should he get punished, that just tells us that our freedom of rights is limited as students.

9/12/2008

Christian D.
Waynesboro High School, Waynesboro, PA
I think that the gun ruling was right thing to do. We have the right to bear arms and so we should be able to. But I also think that the qualifications for buying a gun should be increased by a little bit so that people wanting to shoot others can't get them as easily.

9/12/2008

Erica and Chris
Widener, Philadelphia, PA
We believe that the school decisions were correct because in the Frederick case he promoted drug use and religious beliefs. It would have been accepted only if was a political statement. Instead it caused religious controversy and it was on school grounds.

9/12/2008

Stacey B 4th
NEHS Philadelphia, PA
While the First Amendment says that we have the right to free speech, there is a limit to what can be considered decent and society is the one who determines which is which. Mr. Frederick was not only promoting something illegal, but children could have seen that. He was promoting drug use. You could argue that the banner was also an exercise of religion, but what I know of religion, Jesus would not want his followers using a bong. I believe there is a time and a place for everything. If it was a pro-drug rally, then his sign would have been appropriate. In this case, it was a school function, even though it was away from school. Until we reach the age of majority as defined by law, we are still minors under the law. I believe that minors should say what they think, as long as it is an appropriate time.

9/12/2008

Zach
Waynesboro, PA
In my opinion, the Morse v. Frederick case though highly controversial is an example that even though Frederick was wrong and abused his freedom even though he may have been off of school grounds it was still at a school event. The event had been planned for the students to leave school early and go to the parade together. Therefore, he knew that all the students were going to be there and came up with his prank. Although this is controversial because of students’ freedom of speech it was still wrong for Frederick to unfurl his banner proclaiming, “Bong hits 4 Jesus” because that in many people’s opinion was promoting the use of drugs, although he may not think so. I think students should be allowed to have a banner at a parade if they wanted to and should be allowed freedom of speech but only to a certain extent even if you’re not at a school event. Freedom of speech if very important but should not be abused because everyone in school should know the use of vulgar and inappropriate language in school is not allowed. It can distract other students from learning and hindering there ability to learn. Most students respect that and keep it to themselves. Freedom of speech is important even in school and forms of “symbolic speech” should be allowed as long as it doesn’t disrupt students from learning. I believe the wearing of a black armband to make a statement against the war should be allowed because it’s not disruptive and students can get the same point across without the use of vulgar and inappropriate behavior. In conclusion, the First Amendment should protect students from censoring of speech as long as the student is using correct ways to get the message across whether at a parade or in the school.

9/12/2008

David Period 2
Northeast High school, Philadelphia, PA
As a student I support the ruling of court. In this case I believe that it was a very fair decision made by the supreme court in Alaska. As students we are allowed to exercise our freedom of speech, but there limits to what we can say in public, especially in school grounds. The banner that was raised up by the students was very offensive in my view. If it was meant to be a joke then religious people would take offense to this banner. It was a fair decision.

9/11/2008

Jesse
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell H.S. - kh
I don't see how people can interfere with the free speech of students, as long as what they are saying is nondisruptive to everyone else. If what they say is offensive, then action should be taken against it...but with simple pranks like the banner and protests like the veitnam bands, nothing can or should be done against the rights of the students who are demonstrating. While the speech may be inconvenient to its audience, it is still free speech and harmless.

9/11/2008

Karissa
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell High School-kh
There isn't any problem with speaking your mind because we do have a freedom of speech, but there are personal limits to this freedom. Whenever you say something that is offensive to someone else's beliefs, there is a definite problem. Even though the school felt it was necessary to take action, we all still have our right to free speech. There are consequences for saying something offensive, and you have to own up to it. You, yourself, are responsible for what you say, so watch your mouth!

9/11/2008

Paige
Coraopolis, Pa. Cornell High School/kh
I believe that everyone is entitled to their freedom of speech. But even though some people want to say what's on their mind, schools have to uphold certain rules to limit freedoms. As long as no rules are being broken, no problems are being made. Schools only should be able to enforce their rules when a student is on school property or school is in session. All in all if you watch what you say and you don't cross any school boundaries there shouldn't be useless conflicts.

9/11/2008

Kimberlee
coraopolis, Pa., cornell high school-kh
I think that even though Frederick was not technically on school grounds, he went to the event with his school. The principal had every right to tear down his offensive banner. I do not believe that he should have been suspended, however, 10 days is a bit much for showing a banner. Frederick admitted he only did it for attention, so he sould not be offended that they took away his speech rights. Freedom of speech can only go so far. I do enjoy having the right, however a person should know what NOT to say. His banner was religiously offensive to others.

9/11/2008

Mary
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell High School-KH
I think that the student who held this banner was being innappropraite, but that if this was not considered a field trip, he was exercising his speech rights. Because schools ban drug and violent references, they had a right to take down the banner if the parade was considered a school function. From the context, I understood that the student was dismissed from school and that they simply walked with the teachers. I would not consider this a feild trip, because they were "dismissed" from school, and therefore the student should not have been punished by his school district.

9/11/2008

Madlyn
Coraopolis, Pa., Cornell High School - KH
I agree that students should have the right to express political and religious views in school. I also agree with the Supreme Court that questionable statements can be censored at school-sponsored public events. However, I do not think that schools have the right to monitor social networking sites. An argument was made about the exception of schools that allow their students on social networking sites. I think the "exception" of these schools is just an excuse to monitor social networking sites; I could be wrong, but I highly doubt many schools allow their students on social networking sites on school computers. Whatever schools do allow this activity, they should simply not allow it any longer.

9/11/2008

Yuliya L. 2nd mrs wiesberg
Northeast, Philadelphia, PA
My opinion is that students should be able to express their thoughts and opinions and I don't think it was fair that Frederick was punished for doing so. He was simply speaking his mind, and he followed the rules by not being on school grounds. He did no harm to anyone, and the fact that he was punished for his opinions shows limit to our speech rights as students.

9/10/2008

Vishal
Irving TX, Nimitz
The students should not have been punished for their actions, due to the fact that they were not on school property. One's rights only cease when they take away from someone else's rights. Having the sign up was not hurting anyone, it was not racially upsetting, it was merely a sign, which the students thought to be funny. It should not have been handled so fiercely.

9/10/2008

Angelo
Widener Memorial, Philadelphia, PA
I agree with the court's decision in the Morse vs. Frederick case. The student was not on school grounds when he expressed an opinion, but his banner was offensive. As citizens we have to be responsible.

9/10/2008

Daniel
Widener Memorial, Philadephia, PA
Yes I do know my rights as a student. I think that the decision in Morse vs. Frederick, concerning was right because even though it wasn't on school grounds it may still offend people who walk those grounds. So yes the principal had every right to do what she did. Yes we as students have rights but we also have a responsibility to use our rights correctly.

9/10/2008

Mark
Philadelphia, Widener
I think that the decision to punish the student for the banner was right. The principal didn't have to do it in such a harsh matter. The student had the right of free speech but his principal should have said something about making banners with such things like that.

9/10/2008

Edith
Irving H.S., Nimitz, Tx.
As students many of our speech rights are violated but if the student's banner did promote drugs that i understand that he would have to face consequences.

9/10/2008

CHonte
Phila, Widener
I think I know my speech rights. In Civics class I have learned that for every right, I have a responsibility. However, in the Morse vs. Frederick case, I think the principal went to far. The banner was offensive but the students shouldn't have been punished for expressing their ideas. Some people were probably offended, but our right to free speech should have been protected.

9/10/2008

Mike B
Phila, Widener
I do know my speech rights as a student. I believe that the students were correct about their belief with the banner case. Those students had a right to their own opinion no matter where they are. The banner was not offensive and the students have a right to express what they beleive. Therefore, our speech rights should be valued regardless of where you are and what you say. However students should watch what they say and be offensive.

9/10/2008

Jose
Philadelphia, Widener Memorial
I, as a student, know my right! As far as the Morse vs. Fredrick case, I believe that the Supreme Court did the correct thing. What Fredrick did was uncalled for and it was really offensive to any of those students that were in school ground. I congratulate Principal Deborah Morse for standing up and deffending her right. In reality it was offensive to me, because I'm Christian! And to put a banner up that offends religious beliefs offends me personally!

9/9/2008

CiCi
Irving, Nimitz High School
I believe that the ruling of the Supreme Court was right. In school our First Amendment rights are limited, but for a good reason. If we let everyone say whatever they want to say, school would not be the same. Students should know that there is a limit in our speech right at school. Everything that we say and post up does affect us in a positive or negative way, it just depends how and where we say it.

9/9/2008

Katherine S.
Irving, TX, Nimitz High School
The kid was not on school grounds therefore he should not be punished by the principal. If the banner was on school grounds than it is a totally different story. School faculty should only have authority on school campuses, no where else. Are teenagers no longer protected by the first amendment that they can now be punished for speaking their mind in or out of school? I can understand if the banner was hung up in the school but since it was not even on school premises then he should not have been punished for exercising the freedom that everyone should enjoy.

9/9/2008

Andres5
philadelphia, northeast
I agree with the Supreme Court's decision. Even though the event was off school grounds, the student still represents his school. The student was apart of an organized trip, so he should have act like he was in school. His banner was inappropriate and not called for.

9/9/2008

Curtis J.
Northeast High, Philadelphia, PA
The Supreme Court ruling affect student speech rights at school and away from school, because basically it's saying that students have no rights at school or away from school, we are never people we will always be students away from school that is wrong but my opinion.It correspond to other cases because its one student once again trying to fight for rights,saying whatever is on his/her mind.It differ because it took place off school grounds where this student is no longer a student he/she is a person who have the same rights as the principal to do or say what the person feel. Personally i would have decided in the student favor because the principal have no right to tell you or punish you for what you want to do on your free time.

9/9/2008

Ricky S. pd. 2
Philadelphia, NEHS
I believe that the Supreme Court made the correct decision. Even though Frederick was not on school grounds it was still a school related event. So the school had every right to punish him. I also think that Frederick crossed the line and abused his freedom of speech rights. I would understand if he was promoting something good for the school. But drugs are a definite no. In the end students should realize that they have limitations in and out of school.

9/9/2008

Susmitha T pg 5
philadelphia, northeast high school
In this case,they are imposing their likes/dislikes over them. According to first ammendment students had the freedom of expression and it doesnt matter if it is inside/outside the school compound. Also here they are obstructing student rights. They can give a friendly talk instead of being rude to them. Its ridiculous!!

9/8/2008

Michael
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
The Supreme Court's ruling in Morse v. Frederick affects students speech right at school and away from school and away from school because it showed students how limited their speech rights are whether they're in school or around it. The Frederick case differs and corresponds to past First Amendment cases involving schools and students because this case was won by the school instead of the student but was still related to the Freedom of Speech Ammendment. I would have decided in the students favor in both cases.

9/8/2008

Stephen
Philadelphia, Central High School
I believe the ruling was correct because there is freedom of speech but not license of speech. Meaning that some things can not be said in public without a consequence. In this case the student did not have license to use that banner.

9/8/2008

Samantha K.
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
In my opinion, I believe the ruling by the Supreme Court was correct. I think the action of the principal was definitely reasonable. Students have the right to express their own feelings. However, their action should be limited to a certain extent because it could affect their school’s reputation. As principal, he/she should set a positive environment within school grounds, and reprimand anyone that violates it. Therefore, the student that posted those messages around the school does not have the authority to express one’s opinion.

9/8/2008

Kimberly M pd 5
Philadelphia, NEHS
I believe that the Morse v. Frederick case was a fair ruling. Freedom of speech is a big issue, and yes you are allowed to speak you mind, but there is a big difference between saying what's on your mind and being inappropriate. Drug use (as the article said was promoted), is going to far with the freedom of speech. It would be more reasonable if the teacher got mad for say a religious purpose, but it wasn't. So the teacher had every right to speak out against it. And even though he was off school grounds, it was still a school funded event. Being out of school and away from all teachers and principals, would have a completely different perspective.

9/8/2008

Mengshi W.
NE high school, Philadelphila, PA
As a student I believe that regardless where is location you will always have your freedom of speech. But when you used your freedom of speech, the speech involved in not just base on your opinions on the objectives but also the message your sending out to the public of nation. As a student, the delegate of the school, your action and speech need to be considering on your action. Especially when your banner, promoted drug use. I personally think that you used your freedom of speech when your being calculate by opponent. You used your freedom of speech to defense yourself.

9/8/2008

Ashley R. Pd. 2
Philadelphia, Pa, Northeast Highschool
I think Frederick had every right to put his banner up; I don’t support what it said. We have the freedom of speech but yet were not allowed to hang banners. Whether or not his banner was supporting a good thing or bad he should be allowed to hang it. If his banner was supporting a cure for cancer then no one would have a problem with it but because it was supporting something the principle didn’t believe in she took it to court. I think the principle went too far with the banner. Just because she didn’t believe in it doesn’t mean he doesn’t get to say it, everyone is entitles to their own opinion. I think in this case Frederick was right in hanging his banner even if it was an inappropriate subject.

9/8/2008

Jinu
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I disagree with the supreme Court's decision because it obviously violates the freedom of speech. People should be able to express themselves but should not abuse their rights. If someone has an opinion on a topic like religion,it is better to keep it to themselves than to announce it because it can upset someone who is deeply religious.

9/8/2008

Marvin
Philadelphia, Northeast High school
The Supreme Court ruling in the Morse V. Frederick case tells me as student that yes we have freedom of speech but in certain places such as school our rights will be limited because the school is our authority. What Frederick did was wrong because he was bascially saying that his school promotes drugs. I ruled in favor of the school in the Frederick v. Morse case. I ruled in favor of the students in the Tinker case because what she was doing wasn't harmful or a setting bad image.

9/8/2008

Samuel P. pd4
Philadelphia, NEHS
Yes, I do know my speech rights as a student. Freedom of Speech is the United States itself these days. To me, freedom of speech is way underestimated when it comes to the actual right to expression. Freedom of speech should be limited for alot of reasons and for alot of people using it the wrong way. Saying whatever comes to their minds is setting a wrong example for everyone, that includes the people who are coming from different countries as well.

9/8/2008

Matt M
Philadelphia, Central High School
I agree with the Supreme Court's decision. Although the event was off school grounds, the student still represents his school. The student was apart of an organized educational field trip, so he should have acted as if he was in school. His banner was not educational and was disruptive to the class.

9/7/2008

Shaina
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
I would say that the Supreme Court's decision was a good one. As a student I feel that we should have our speech rights but Frederick went too far. Even though he was out side of school grounds, he was with the rest of the school and the principal. It was pretty much like a school event. School events such as field trips, students still have to be respectful. If a student does something dumb it reflects the whole school not just him or herself. I feel that the principal did the right thing by taking the sign down. It disrupted the peace and went against the first Amendment.

9/7/2008

Chansophea
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
(RMR) As students, I believe we are allowed to say whatever we want as long as it is appropriate for school grounds. Although Frederick's banner was held off of school grounds, it was a very inappropriate thing to promote. He would've gotten in trouble by someone else if it wasn't his principal, for say a parent that might happen to drive by. When Mary Beth Tinker wore black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, that was great and completely reasonable. People in my high school join a day of silence to support gays/bisexuals and lesbians and everyone is perfectly fine with that because it is appropriate for our age group, trying to gain support of others, not promoting drugs, something that should not be present anyway. I would have supported the principal because many teens fall into what a group does, and to prevent anyone else from helping Frederick, she had to stop it by all means.

9/7/2008

Feng C.
Northeast High, Philadelphia, PA
By looking at both cases, I respect both decisions. Tinker was trying to stop the country from going into war, because people will be suffering if it really happened. His action was reasonable. But for Frederick's action it was totally different, he was doing the wrong thing at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Also, 'promoting drug use' is not a way to save people's life but to destroy them. Anyone can have the right to stop him from continuing his doing. Besides, high school students shouldn't have any contact with drugs. And he as a high schooler had stand out in public with that banner. Basically, he had misused his freedom of speech. And lastly, he deserves his consequences.

9/7/2008

Kelsey
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
As students I believe that we should have the right to freedom of speech but to its limits. In the case of Morse v. Frederick, I think he takes freedom of speech too far. Even though he was off school ground he was with his school and the banner that said “Bong hits for Jesus” was inappropriate for a school event. If Morse brought her students out side to watch this event happen that was something nice she was doing for her kids, and Frederick disrupted this event with an inappropriate banner. She was in her right to punish him for this banner, and even though he is a kid doing something stupid he was wrong for holding this up at this kind of event, even if it was just to get on television.

9/7/2008

Mayra F pd4
NEHS, Philadelphia, PA
Everyone at school should have their freedom of speech right. When it starts offending other people, that's where it stops. Most kids at school try to take that right for granted, but if everyone uses it in a appropriate manner, everything would be okay. In cases like Morse v. Frederick, it was wrong for Frederick to use this right in that manner. He didn't use his freedom of speech respectfully towards others. Yes, he used the right to voice out his opinion, but at the same time, he did it in a negative way. There is a time and place for everything and he could've addressed the matter in a different way.

9/7/2008

Jonathan
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
My speech rights are not free speech but license of speech meaning that we cant say what we want when we want but what we want when it is appropriate.

9/7/2008

Rayanne A. Period 2
Northeast High, Philadelphia, PA
The Supreme Court went against the student Joseph Frederick in Juneau High, Alaska. In my understanding the Supreme Court was right. Just because freedom of speech is written in the First Amendment,doesn't give you the right to disturb other people environment. Some people doesn't know how to act when they are given too mach freedom; so they need to take some way. The Supreme Court was right.

9/7/2008

Jonathan S.
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
I feel the principal of the school was not at fault for suspending the student because he doesn't have free speech, he has license of speech. This means he can say what he wants as long as he doesn’t disrupt a public or private event.

9/7/2008

Eddie
Northeast High, Philadelphia, PA
I think that it would make students believe that they can't stretch their freedom of speech in or out of school. The case differs because Frederick was holding a sign, disturbing a school function and in the other case the students didn't disturb anything. If i was to judge the case i would have ruled in favor of Frederick for the simple fact that he was just excising his rights and cause he was off of school grounds.

9/7/2008

Mary
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
I agree with the decision in the Tinker case, in which the court decided that students’ speech in school is protected by the First Amendment as long as it is not disruptive to the educational process. I think that Frederick was suspended, not necessarily due to what he said on the banner, but in the manner that he got his message across. I believe that although students still do have their right to free speech even in a school setting, what you want to say should be done in a respectful and non-disruptive way. I think that Frederick was lacking that respect and that is why the decision was made for him to be suspended.

9/7/2008

Ivette
Irving, Nimitz
What Joseph did was wrong, but it was his opinion. I think it is alright for the schools to limit our freedom of speech at school, but in this case it happened off school grounds. There was no reason for the school to punish Joseph.

9/7/2008

Jing
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
First of all, the First Amendment was designed so that people have their individual opinion and right to support themselves. However, it should not be considered as a freedom of disciplinary speech. In Morse v. Frederick case, instead of considering whether Frederick took his action on school grounds or not, we should consider more of his action which brought negative influence to the society. The pro-drug action is certainly not favorable. If Frederick sued school for the reason that his action was off of school grounds, then the one who punished Frederick could turn to be the district in that area of Alaska. Either way he was going to be punished. If he used "exercising his right to free speech" as his excuse, then he had the wrong idea of free speech and way of exercising. Since schools are purposely created to educate their students for the better, and Frederick represented a part of students in Alaska high school, this school certainly had the right to punish its student as a way of education. If the court's decision was favorable to Frederick, it may highly change high school students' view to the free speeck therefore caused them to use their rights in a wrong way. High school students are not yet mature. They accept ideas easily from others and they appear more of rebel behaviors. Therefore the court and school made a right to prevent more of teenagers' disciplinary actions.

9/7/2008

Raven R.
Philadelphia, Central High School
I think that since the event was off of school grounds and that student could have attended the event by himself, he should have a right to have what he wants on his banner. I do think we should have a freedom of speech in school because we are young adults and should be responsible enough. Of course not everyone matures at the same level so, we have to be reminded on what the limits are, so no one is offended or any other similar problems. I personally don’t care for what’s written on the banner but I would have granted the student his right to have it on the banner and the principal not to suspend him because of the freedom of speech rules. Even though it’s not the best message to send to other high school students, it wasn’t causing any violence or arguments. I also believe the principal could have solved the situation in a better way.

9/7/2008

QPD5
Philadelphia, NEHS
In my opinion in the Morse v. Fredrick case, the Supreme Court did the right thing to rule in favor of the school. Even though student should have the right of speech and speak their mind about what they feel.There is a line that not just students but adults as well should not draw when it come to freedom of speech. It was a big mistake for Fredrick to promote drug use and say that it's his freedom of speech. For that reason he got what he deserved.The right thing to do is punish that student and also take the banner down. Which is what his principle Morse did and even though it wasn't in school ground she was trying to prove a point. Telling the students it is not right to influence others with messages like the one of Fredrick's.The other case was very different from Morse v. Frederick because it did not disrespect anyone and it was just what the students believed about the war. For both of these cases i would agree with the decisions that the court decided on.

9/7/2008

Gennadiy
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
The student should not be punished. First, it was off the school grounds. Second, it wasn't disruptive to the learning or anything else (it became disruptive when principle payed attention and punished him, people saw it and it disrupted them) and it was in the rights of free speech, press, and religion he had every right, the same thing could have done any other student or non student in his place. This is why he shouldn't have been punished for it.

9/7/2008

Lily5
Philadelphia, Northeast High
I strongly believe that the way the Supreme Court ruling in Morse vs. Fredrick affects student speech rights at school and away from school is by disrupting their education. Because of what Fredrick did by displaying the banner may have offended someone. He could of also at least done that nowhere near school ground. Obviously he acted on his own and he have faced the consequence of not being responsible for his own act. In my opinion I think it wasn't right for Fredrick to be suspended more than a week as his punishment. This is because all he was trying to do was to have his right to speak and for others to hear him out.

9/7/2008

Lan
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
Students should have the right to speech, but there should be a limit as when the speech is considered inappriopriate and promote negativity to the people around. We should learn to use our right respectafully instead of abusing it. I agree with the decision of the court on the case of Federick and the action of the principal. As a principal, Morse has the right and responsibity to promote a positive learing environment for the students. Additonally, if the principal does not act, what a precedent he/she will set for the rest of the students. Furthermore, if a speech is inappropriate, acting off the campus does not make it appropriate. As Federick's case was happening under a school social event, the school definetely have the right take the matter into its hand and react.

9/7/2008

Maria O
Irving, Tx, Nimitz High School
Yes, Frederick was off school grounds, but he was at a school function. The students were all there together, with their teachers. It was like a field trip, not a party on the weekend. Plus, he was promoting drug use. Frederick even admitted that he was just doing it to get attention and get on television. He wasn't making a statement, he was playing a prank. I believe that principal Morse did have the authority to take down the banner and punish the student.

9/7/2008

Chiquita S. pd. 2
Philadelphia, PA, Northeast Highschool Phila, PA
I agree. As a student, we should have the right to say whatever we want as long as it does not disrupt the learning process. As far as the students being punished for things that happened off campus, I don't think that is entirely fair. I understand how some may consider it to be offensive but no one got hurt. It's not like it caused a whole school riot or anything, so I think those students sould have been left alone. Even though the banner alluded to drug use, it was still not the school's place to punish those students. Maybe the police could have gotten involved, but even that may have been too harsh. The banner was nothing more than an immature prank that people took enirely too seriously. I believe that if no one was hurt, there shouldn't be any grounds for punishment, especially in school where it did not happen.

9/7/2008

Abhishek
Patel, Northeast High school
I don't agree with the Supreme Court on their decision. The student has all the right to express himself. This is a free country and one may do whatever he/she likes as long as he/she doesn't violate anyone else's rights. And as far as I see this situation, Fredrick didn't violate anyone else's rights. I don't agree with what he said, and as a matter of fact I think he is stupid for saying "Bong hit's the Jesus", but in no way is he wrong. Moreover, the school shouldn't even have a say in the situation. They weren't on the school grounds, so the principal should have no authority to punish Fredrick. The decision of whether Fredrick was wrong or right should be left up to local enforcement authorities. If a 24 year old would have done something like this, he wouldn't have been punished; then why should a high school student be punished? How is that fair?

9/7/2008

John D.
Philadelphia, Central High School
Joseph shouldn’t have gotten punished for his statement on his banner because as an American citizen he is entitled to his rights of the first amendment. Although his banner may have been morally wrong and may have offended many people and their religions, he has the right to do that. Another point is that this incident happened off of school ground so the principal had no authority the punish him in school. If he had done something worth a punishment it should have been dealt with by the local police not the principal of his school.

9/7/2008

James - 5
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
The Morse vs. Fredrick case does not affect our speech rights as students. Yes, he was suspended for holding a sign saying "Bong Hits For Jesus", but he was attending a function with the school which would violate th students basic handbook rules. If he was not with the school then it would be ok for him to hold the sign up. In this matter he was attending it with the school so by the handbook he deserved to be punished. The fact of the manner is that while in school or at school functions if the school is responsible for you then you have the obey their rules.

9/7/2008

Lakirra
philadelphia, northeast highschool
I dont think the Supreme Court was right about its judgement. We have a right to say what we believe in. And I dont think that there was no harm in what Frederick did. He was just doing what he believed in.

9/7/2008

Bridget
Philadelphia, Central High School
Yes we as American people do have Freedom of Speech, but that does not mean that we can say absolutely whatever we want, especially when it promotes something illegal. If Joseph Fredrick wants to talk about drugs thats his business, but as far as putting it on a sign and making it a public statement, that's just stupid. He deserved to get in trouble and he should deal with the consequences of his actions.

9/7/2008

Kobie
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
I believe that our freedom of speech should be treated as if were a regular citzen that is able to vote.this case is about a banner that wasn't doing any harm to anyone students, so the principle should have let him be. Because it was off school grounds. In conclusion the way I would have decided the case is tell the school to deal with some of the bigger issue in the school and out in their community.

9/7/2008

Lance
Philadelphia, Central- RMR
I don't understand what this "technically off campus" is all about. If it was off campus, then it doesnt concern the principal to get involved and punish the student. However, even though he had the right of speech, he handled that right very irresponsibly. Many people in a community can be offended by his actions.

9/7/2008

Laura
Philadelphia, Central High
Morse v. Frederick differs from Tinker v. Des Moines in the fact that the Tinker case involved students using their freedom of speech for a just cause. They were not wearing armbands to abuse their right to free speech, they were simply expressing their protest to the war. They also did not disrupt anyone around them in school by wearing their black armbands. In the Morse v. Frederick case however, the student disrupted those around him by holding up that banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”, which some found offensive and inappropriate for it’s reference to drug use and a religious figure in the same sentence. The student also seems to have wanted to use his First Amendment right to his advantage when he was punished for his actions. He even admitted that he only wanted to gain attention and be on tv. This case is similar to the Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser case in the way that both students were offensive and rude while in the presence of an audience. They both were not mature about the situation. The Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case is similar to this case because both principals seem to have had one goal, which was to protect inappropriate subjects from younger students and audiences. I believe that the Supreme Court was fair to rule that the principal had the right to tear down the student’s banner and punish him because his actions were immature and inappropriate. He especially pulled his prank while a very famous event was in town and tv cameras were around. I believe that he only hoped to use his freedom of speech to get away with a misdemeanor as he admitted to only wanting to gain attention. He was also at the event as a student representing his school. Students are expected to represent their school in an appropriate manner and this student did not do that.

9/7/2008

Aghilas B.
Philadelphia, Central High School RMR
Freedom of Speech doesn't necessarily mean anyone can say anything they want and get away with it. I think the principal had every right to punish the student because it did occur at a school sanctioned event, and advocated drug use, which is obviously illegal, as well as satirically representing Jesus. So Morse didn't violate Frederick's free speech rights at all. She just asserted her power as supervisor by prohibiting the display of the banner, which had no purpose other than ridiculing Christianity.

9/7/2008

Aniesha
philadelphia, northeast high school
In my opinion, I think the Supreme Court ruled the right decision by supporting the school. I do believe in freedom of speech for everyone, even students. But, in the case of Frederick, he took his freedom too far. He didn't use his right responsibly and he disrupted the school and other students. It would have been fine if Frederick spoke out about his opinions resposibly and in a mature way. I thought the banner was very offensive and he had no right to be so offensive if it included disrespecting others. Since, he was disrupting the school then the pricipal had every right to punish him because he is a student of the school. If one wants to express their opinions then they should do it in a appropriate way like the case of Tinker vs. Des Moines.

9/7/2008

Nicky
Philadelphia, Norheast High School
I think that students should have the right to use freedom of speech but in a well manner. When Tinker stood up for what she believed in about the Vietnam War, she did it respectfully and properly by not hurting anyone and standing up for the soldiers. But as for Joseph Frederick, he might have disrespected many regions and many class rooms because of his disruption of the banner.

9/7/2008

Jerrin
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision because, first of all, it wasn't on school grounds, so the principal of the school should not have been given the right to punish the student. Secondly, the message on the banner said nothing concerned with the school. But because the student was exercising his freedom of speech in a inappropriate way, a minor punishment should have been given to the student by the local law enforcement and not by the school.

9/7/2008

Jasmine H
Philadelphia, Central
I think the Supreme Court ruled right by allowing the principal to punish Frederick in the Morse v. Frederick case. Frederick does have freedom of speech but he gave up that right when he disrupted the school function with that offensive banner. I do believe there would have been a different ruling had his banner said something less ridiculous, but that’s the whole point. Had his banner not been so offensive it may not have caused such a disruption. Just like the 17 year old from the Bethel case lost because he was being inappropriate at school. You give up that right when you cross the lines of appropriateness. The Tinker case was a different story. Those students were exercising their rights the legal way and that’s why the court ruled that their right to freedom of speech was protected by the First Amendment. They were not causing any kind of disruption or danger to anyone’s education by wearing black wristbands.

9/7/2008

Angel C Pd 5
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
In the case of Morse v. Frederick I believe that Frederick was totally out of line with the banner. It was not neccesary and uncalled for. One thing that makes this case very interesting is the fact that Joseph Frederick unfurled the banner off campus during his own personal time. There are a few problems with this. One problem is why does Joseph get punished for his banner when it's off campus. Everyone is entitled to their own opinoin. Right? I understand that when you attend a school then no matter where you go you must represent that school. But when does the school's jurisdiction end? In many cases the school has far too much power in student's lives and I don't think that's fair. I think as long as you follow the rules at school then whatever you do on your spare time is totally up to you. This case is very disputable. There are many different points of view that could be taken. As for me I think that we as students should have the right to do as we please off campus and while on campus strictly follow policy. If we don't have freedom to do as we wish on our time, then when is it that we stop being a student and start being a human being?

9/7/2008

Tony
Philadelphia, Central High School
I believe that the court was fair in ruling in favor of the school in the Frederick case. Although Americans have the right to free speech, there must be a limit to as what we are able to say publicly. We have the right to say anything about our feelings towards our president, however we are not aloud to encourage illegal activity and that is where Frederick went wrong.

9/7/2008

Alex K.
Philadelphia, Central High School RMR
I agree with the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Morse v. Frederick. I completely support the first amendment and a students speech rights, however, what Joseph Frederick did went too far. I believe that students deserve speech rights the same as anyone else, but holding up a sign outside of school that says "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is too much. If a students right to speak disturbs the the learning of an entire high school, or even just one other student, then disciplinary action must be taken against the student, in this case Joseph Frederick. I believe that the first amendment should be upheld in most cases, however, Joseph Frederick's actions have taken him out of the majority of cases where a persons first amendment rights should be protected.

9/7/2008

Jaspreet K.
Philadelphia, Northeast High School
Students should have their freedom of speech even when they are in school. Howvever, students should know their limitations to their freedom of speech because any disruptive or inappropriate behavior cannot be tolerated by school administartaions. Also since they are in high school, their parents also have a right to chose whether their children should be listening to this protest or looking at these types of banners. But I feel that the Supreme Court should have also taken into consideration the fact that this banner and protest was presented outside the school grounds. That brings out a point that goes against the fact of the prinicpal having the right to punish Joseph Frederick. And even if the issue was on drug use and not on poltical or religous views it still deserves protection, because any issue that affects students or relates to them is their business and they should have their right to express their opinion.

9/6/2008

Steven L per 5
Northeast High School Philadelphia, PA
I don't think it was distruptive. He has his right for freedom of speech and besides it was off school grounds and it wasn't nothing that was promoting violence. And besides what's the First Amendment if we has student can't comply to it..

9/6/2008

Mariya
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
My understanding is that what was actually written on the banner may have disrupted the education since he was a "citizen" of a school, which most consider to be the age at the time between first through twelfth grade. Bong Hits 4 Jesus may have been offending the religions of school that the student was a member of. Therefore this proves that yes the school has a right to unallow him to protest the banner, not to mention he did not have enough of a population and support to make it official or prove his point.

9/6/2008

Carl S.
Central High School (RMR), Philadelphia, PA
The right to free speech is protected in the First Amendment of our Constitution. The fact that it is in the First Amendment indicates that the founders of this country felt that free speech was a fundamental right in a democracy. I very much support the Supreme Court's 1969 decision which declared symbolic speech to be "akin to pure speech". In an educational environment, we have to walk a fine line between what is free speech and what is disruptive to the learning process. In Bethel School District v. Fraser (1986), in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988), and now in Morse v. Frederick, the Court is slowly stripping students of their right to free speech. As students, we have to be careful and make sure that our Constitutional rights remain intact. We have to protect our democracy.

9/6/2008

Peter L. Pd.5
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think the supreme court was right in their ruling. Although we do have freedom of speech, we all know when it is used in a right way or wrong way. For Frederick to post such a banner promoting drug use is totally uncalled for and deserved punishment. If we were to let Joseph get away with what we did, we would be telling everyone else that it is acceptable to post such comments and get away with it. The decision made affects students freedom of speech away from school as telling others we do have freedom of speech but we should know how to use such a privilege. Although I believe we can say what we want there are certain limitations and a time and place to say them. For Joseph to post such a banner during the Olympics was a dumb move. If I was in charge of deciding the case I would have punished Joseph for his actions but also allow him to redeem himself.

9/6/2008

Briana Dpd5
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think students should have freedom of speech. Some of us are still a little immature and really don't think before they say thing. Then you have other who do. In The case Morse v. Frederick. Deborah Morse should have been allowed to punish her student for promoting a banner about drug. Joseph Frederick didn't think before he decided to make that banner. His whole attitude was negative, if it was positive principal Deborah Morse had no right to punish him. We should have freedom of speech but just think before you say something that you think should be heard.

9/6/2008

LeQuan C PD 5
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
The Supreme Court's ruling in Morse v. Frederick affects students' speech rights at school and away from school in many ways. For example, now that the kids of that high school have been introduced to something like this they will be afraid to say what they feel and speak their minds. This concept goes for outside of school also. So now when those kids are hanging out, or just doing what they like to do, and they want to say something in the back of their mind they will think about the Frederick case and hold their tongues because they don't want to get in trouble. If I would have decided the case I would have definitely ruled that the principal should not punish the student. The reason I chose this decision is because unless the banner said on it "Go Do Drugs right now", there is no reason to punish someone for 'seemingly' promoting drug use. Honestly I don't think it was a serious gesture. Maybe this student was just trying to be a clown or have fun. Who really knows what his intentions were?

9/6/2008

Javier R
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
The Supreme Court's ruling in the Morse v Frederick affects our Speech rights in and away from school. There are limits to students speech rights when something occurs “during normal school hours” and is an “approved social event at which the district's student-conduct rules expressly apply”. The Frederick case is different because he actually said something that supported drug use but he said it off school grounds unlike the Tinker case. Students should have the same free speech protection in school sponsored events as they do any where else. If Frederick's banner did not mention drugs then I believe that the justices would have ruled for Frederick instead of against him. This is only because the court did not want to take away the principles right to punish students for offensive slogans. This will not affect online activities but might change the way school sanction events are held. I would rule the same on the case but I do not believe the student should have been suspended for a silly prank.

9/6/2008

Matthew B.
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA, (RMR)
Though the First Amendment does protect the right to speech, it does come with its limits. You cannot scream "Fire!" in a movie theater. "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is nothing short of tasteless. The circumstances of which the slogan appeared on the banner does fit the circumstances of the Miller Test (a test used by the government to deem if an object in discussion is protected by the 1st Amendment) and thus, is not protected by the 1st Amendment. With that said, it is questionable as to the principal's jurisdiction. The event did not happen in school and, though it was school district to be anti-drug, is it the school district's right to pursue its students when it is not in or on school property. Arguably, it was a school sanctioned event. That should be not a principal responsibility, but rather school police. To explain that more clearly: if a man is from Virginia and kills a man from New Jersey in New Jersey, does the Virginia cop arrest the killer because the killer is from Virginia? No, it is the responsibility of the NJ police or, depending upon the circumstances, the FBI. As such, Frederick can be punished for his slogan, but not by the principal.

9/6/2008

Ryan S.
Northeast Highschool, Philadelphia, PA
I think students should have the right to say what they want. But in the Morse vs Frederick case, the student was off of school property but he was wrong for what he did. It was not only showing disrespect toward religion but it lowered his standards as a student. I think that Morse did make the right decision by punishing Frederick, I also believe that frederick is a bad influence on other people and next time he should think before he decides to do something like that.

9/6/2008

Winnie RMR
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
I believe that students are entitled to free speech, whether in school or out. However, when in school, what is said should be in a non-profane way. If Frederick’s banner had said his opinion in an more respectful and mature way, I don’t think that the justices could have ruled against him. As for students’ activities online, I don’t think that students should be reprimanded for what they post online. However, since what they do post is on an public website, the school may view it and only if what is posted shows that the student needs help does that student needs to be consulted.

9/6/2008

Ryan S. 5th period
Norhteast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I think as students we should have freedom of speech, but in the Morse vs Frederick case, Joseph Frederick was wrong for what he did. He was wrong because it goes against what Jesus stood for; Love, Peace, and Salvation not drugs.

9/6/2008

Joshua
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA
My speech rights as student are much more strict than my speech rights as a citizen. Under the supervision of school employees and personnel I am granted the right to express my opinion as long as it does not interrupt the learning process. This was decided in the Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969). The court decided, “…students’ speech in school is protected by the First Amendment as long as it is not disruptive to the educational process”. The ruling of the Morse v. Frederick case, in which the justices ruled “…that principal Deborah Morse was allowed to punish student Joseph Frederick for unfurling a questionable banner, even though it occurred, technically, off the campus of their Juneau, Alaska high school.” was justified for allowing the teacher to punish the student only because the banner which the student unfurled didn’t express a meaningful or serious matter. It made a mockery of the school and a revered religious figurehead. If the banner represented something that was of some importance than the court would have ruled differently. For example, if the banner read, “Abortion is murder” than the student would be well within his right to express his opinion and not disrupt the educational process.

9/6/2008

Lucas I.
Central High School, Philadelphia, PA RMR
Freedom of speech is what makes this country great. No matter how stupid or dumb something is, it should be allowed to be said, unless it is promoting violence or hate. In the cast of Morse V. Frederick, I believe that the principle had no right what so ever to punish Frederick. Frederick was not in school, and his banner was not promoting violence nor hate of any sort. He was simply using freedom of speech. Weather Frederick's banner held a smart message or not is a different story, but he should have been allowed to say whatever he wanted. If principles begin to punish their students for voicing their opinions, however stupid, what will happen next? We will students lose our freedom of speech?

9/6/2008

Megan, K, Pd5
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
As a student I really do not know my rights. I think that every student should know right from wrong. In a way i agree with the punishment that the principal gave to the student. Even though the banner was off campus, the whole situation still reflects back onto the school. However, i don't think that he should have been suspended for 10 days. Being gone from school for that long affected h