Mahaffey v. Aldrich

236 F. Supp. 2d 779 (E.D. Mich. 2002)

In 2001, Joshua Mahaffey was suspended from school when he created a website called “Satan’s web page.” The website included lists of “movies that rock,” “music I hate,” “music that’s cool,” “people that are cool” and “people I wish would die.” The bottom of the website featured a mission from Satan to violently kill someone for him, followed by a disclaimer asking people not to do so.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division decided there was no evidence that any activity occurred on school property, that the website substantially interfered with school work or that other students’ right were infringed upon. Additionally, they found that a reasonable person wouldn’t interpret the statements on the website as serious expression or an actual intent to kill. The court found that his speech was protected.

Read the decision.