Freedom of speech in school.

Essay by nullHigh School, 11th grade September 2003

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The Supreme Court decision in favor of the restricting actions of the principal concerning the degree of freedom allowed in school newspapers should be seriously reconsidered. Judging from the information presented, a concise contention can easily be formulated. The overall appropriateness of the subject discussed in the school newspaper and the fact that the students First Amendment rights were clearly violated serves to counter the overall injustice the Supreme Court decision rendered.

In considering the stance taken by the Supreme Court, the reason the issue was taken all the way down the rungs of the judicial system must first be taken in account. The primary reason for the principal's actions derives from what he felt to be inappropriate subject matter. In this matter, as it was directly pertaining to the school, the principal has the right to express what he deems unsuitable. Yet, how inappropriate are the subjects of teenage pregnancy and the impact of divorce on students, especially in that current day and age? Could a harmless student newspaper article dealing with how to cope with those existing situations be inappropriate? The principal would have more of an argument if the subject matter dealt with unrealistic, vulgar topics, yet the mentioned articles prove to be the very opposite.

As mentioned, a school newspaper is "intended to be operated as a conduit for student viewpoint," and through the restriction of such practices the student's voice is muffled by the hand of injustice.

As principal you have the right to take action where assumed necessary. However, in the case brought to the Supreme Court it is evident that the principal's actions had no foundation and instead resulted in the violation of the First Amendment. Once again in reaching such a conclusion the details must be measured. The school newspaper, simply...