Eight days after the Virginia Tech University massacre, a high school student in Northport, Wash., was overheard telling other students that chaining shut all of the doors in the school except for one would make it easy for a gunman to shoot those emerging from the unchained entrance.
A burst of laughter broke over the marble halls of the U.S. Supreme Court chamber when one of the nine dignified, black-robed figures seated behind a raised bench began to speak about “bong hits.”
Reaching back to the history of America’s public education system and a legal principle known as “in loco parentis,” Associate Justice Clarence Thomas offered the most extreme opinion in June’s Morse v. Frederick U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision in Morse v. Frederick was almost as varied as the judgment of the Court, which issued five opinions in the first high school student-speech decision since Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier in 1988.
As soon as the Morse v. Frederick decision was handed down from the U.S. Supreme Court in late June, it immediately began appearing in lower courts’ opinions across the country.
A five-year-long waiting game over a high school student’s right to publish a controversial editorial may continue as the California Supreme Court decides whether to hear or deny a petition in the Novato Unified School District v. Smith case.
When student journalists in Oregon return from vacation, they will be protected by a press-freedom law passed in July.
Seven states -- Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts and Oregon -- have passed laws that limit the effects of the Hazelwood decision in their states and return a greater degree of press freedom to student editors.
Student journalists at public universities and community colleges in Illinois are one signature away from a guarantee that their newspapers are not subject to prior review or restraint.
In many circumstances, student speech that can potentially be dubbed "violent" does not make national headlines. Sometimes, it does not even make it to the superintendent's desk.