Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Students' Speech Stifled in Florida

I actually don't entirely know what to think about this story. A girl was prohibited from distributing pro-life leaflets under the schools "no leafletting" policy, and her parents filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the school's policy was unconstitutional. The court sided with the school, which I actually think is ok. I mean, the policy says that no one can hand out materials, no matter what the topic. It seems fair to me in that regard.

I'm interested in what people think of this from a scholarly, Rick Garnett-type First Amendment perspective, and then I'm interested in comments about high school "no-leafletting" policies in general.

2 Comments:

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

School = limited public forum.
Restrictions on speech must only be viewpoint neutral and reasonable given the limited purpose of the forum. sounds ok to me.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous cody said...

Hey Becky, long time no see.

The judge's reasoning, at least according to the paper seems a little suspect. He says that the distribution of fliers may incite a "battlefield". This is a common justification for restricting speach called a "heckler's veto". Essentially, the gvt. says no to protected speech because it might incite disruption.

however, middle and high schools enjoy broad discretion to maintain school order and to prevent disruption. so even from that standpoint, it is probably legit. at a university it would be a totally different story.

andrew seems right on his analysis too.

 

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