5th Circuit Rules in Favor of Student Speech Rights

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that students who handed out christian-centric materials to other students had a First Amendment right to do so. School principals who prohibited this student-to-student speech violated the students’ First Amendment rights, the Court held.

“We hold that the First Amendment protects all students from viewpoint discrimination against private, non-disruptive, student-to-student speech,” Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote in a part of her opinion, joined by nine of the 16 participating judges. “Therefore, the principals’ alleged conduct—discriminating against student speech solely on the basis of religious viewpoint—is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.” (source)

I guess I have to say “yay Jesus!”

3 Responses to 5th Circuit Rules in Favor of Student Speech Rights

  1. Charles Platt says:

    Just sad that this had to go all the way to an appellate court for something that should have been unremarkable.

  2. andrews says:

    And it sounds like a narrowly split appeals panel: 9 of 16 endorsed free speech. The 5th circuit does tend to be rather deferential to authority, so the vote might have been different elsewhere.

  3. Mark Kernes says:

    My experience is that some of these young religious zealots can be pretty zealous in their promotion of their religion. Wonder if the courts will revisit the issue if enough pesky religionists get socked in the jaw by the people they pester. Because you KNOW this isn’t going to stop at candy canes and pencils.

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