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  1. #1
    Senior Member ShockedinCalifornia's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    CA: Supreme Court lets high school free speech stand

    Supreme Court Lets California 'Anti-Hazelwood' Decision Stand

    By Mark Fitzgerald

    Published: February 20, 2008 2:05 PM ET

    CHICAGO The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a California appeals court ruling that directly contradicts its landmark "Hazelwood" decision that significantly limited the free press rights of high school student journalists.

    Without comment, the high court on Tuesday announced it would not hear the school district's appeal in the case of Smith v. Novato Unified School District.

    The announcement leaves intact a May 2007 ruling by a California appellate court that school authorities violated the state's education code when it publicly condemned a student's controversial column in his school paper about illegal immigration, and tried to prevent distribution of the paper.

    California's education law was one of several so-called "anti-Hazelwood" laws or regulations passed following the Supreme Court's 1988 ruling that school principals are effectively the publisher of a school paper with the same authority to censor or otherwise limit student journalists' independence as the publisher of a privately owned newspaper.

    California's Education Code states that "school districts ... shall not make or enforce any rule subjecting high school pupils to disciplinary actions solely on the basis of conduct that is speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside of the campus" is protected by the First Amendment and California's state constitutional guarantees of free speech.

    At issue in the California case was a column written by Andrew D. Smith, who in 2001 was a senior at Novato High School who wrote two controversial columns for the school paper, The Buzz. In the immigration column, for instance, he wrote that police should be empowered to randomly roust possible undocumented immigrants.

    "It can't be hard to find and detain the people who can't speak English," he wrote. "If a person looks suspicious than just stop them and ask a few questions, and if they answer 'que?,' detain them and see if they are legal."

    Though the column had been approved for publication by school authorities, after it was published -- and sparked a furor among some students and parents, topped off by a walk-out of 100 students from the school -- the superintendent wrote a letter to parents saying it had violated the California code, and inviting them to a public meeting where, Smith contended, he was denounced and reprimanded.

    A lower court found the school acted properly. Smith, who was represented by the generally conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, appealed. In its decision, the California First District Court of Appeal declared that state law "mandates that a school may not prohibit student speech simply because it presents controversial ideas and opponents of the speech are likely to cause disruption."

    The California Supreme Court declined to take the school district's appeal. The district asked for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that even though the case involved a state law, First Amendment issues were at play.

    "Andrew Smith can now claim a conclusive victory," said Paul J. Beard II, the Pacific Legal Foundation principal attorney who represents Smith. "But in a larger sense, all student journalists in California are winners, because this case establishes once and for all that they can't be censored for not conforming to some ideological agenda. This is a precedent-setting victory against any attempt to impose 'politically correct' thought codes on student journalists in California." ... 1003712813

  2. #2
    Senior Member miguelina's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Why do people think speeches and articles for pro-illegal aliens is OK, but anti-illegal aliens speech/articles should be censored? That's called Facism.

    You may not agree with what I say or write, nor do you have the right to tell me what to say or write, if I don't agree with your opinions. Can't have it both ways.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member SOSADFORUS's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Harray for Him and a big win for students!!

    >>>>>>>>>>>"RED ALERT"2/20<<<<<<<<<<<<
    Utah...We Need callers now!! Please take action!
    "It Could be your state next"
    Utah and Indiana.... Call, e-mail, Fax campaign!! ... asc-0.html
    Please support ALIPAC's fight to save American Jobs & Lives from illegal immigration by joining our free Activists E-Mail Alerts (CLICK HERE)

  4. #4
    Senior Member ShockedinCalifornia's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Yes, this is good.

    Too bad college students are not listening. They've been brainwashed by liberal politically correct professors.

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