University of Phoenix
September 12, 2007
Bong Rips for Justice Kennedy
Of all the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment, it is probably the freedom of speech that is most often cited. Perhaps this is due to Americans' predilection for speaking their minds, even if their opinions are unpopular, or even illegal. Throughout the years that we have had this crucial freedom, it has been protected by the courts on several occasions. At times, however, this freedom has been limited because the privilege, it is said, has been abused. There are times when people use speech either for illegal purposes or to promote them. One classic example of such promotion occurred in 2002 when a student in Juneau, Alaska displayed a provocative banner outside of his high school.
In 2002, Joseph Frederick, an eighteen-year-old senior at Juneau-Douglas High School, led a group of students who unfurled the banner at a national relay leading up to the 2002 winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City (James, 2007). "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" was the controversial message emblazoned on the student's fourteen-foot banner (Mears, 2007). Frederick and his friends said that they just wanted to be on television and to enrage their principal. They succeeded in both these goals, as news coverage was extensive, and the school's principal, Deborah Morse, was irate. Morse confiscated the banner, and issued a five day suspension to Frederick, which was later increased to 10 days. (James, 2007). Frederick, however, would not take the assault lying down, and he sued Morse and the school for violating his first amendment rights, and sought monetary damages (Reynolds, 2007).
Morse argued that the banner contained an implied pro-drug message, which was in contrast with the school's educational mission (James, 2007). Many stoners, however, argue against this, saying that when one inhales... [continues]
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