Court declines to hear case on graphic poem

WASHINGTON ‘ The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a boy expelled in 1998 for writing a poem about killing numerous classmates.

Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2001 upheld the Blaine School District’s decision to punish James LaVine for bringing the fictitious narrative to school for a teacher to critique.

The graphic poem described a student killing 28 classmates and then feeling remorseful for their deaths.

Administrators, concerned LaVine was a danger to himself, handed him a 17-day suspension. He returned to school after psychiatric evaluation and counseling.

He filed suit against the district in 1998 for his dismissal. A federal judge granted LaVine summary judgement, but the judge’s order was reversed by the Ninth Circuit. The court denied an en banc hearing in January.