Morse V. Frederick

Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Supreme Court of the United States Pages: 2 (660 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Morse v. Frederick Daniel kilasi
This case was a major turning point to student rights. It all started when Morse a school-supervised event, Joseph Frederick held up a banner with this message "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," this was meant to the marijuana smoking. When the Principal Deborah Morse saw the banner she took away the banner and suspended Frederick for ten days. She justified or tried to give a good reason for her actions by stating the school's policy against the display of material that promotes the use of illegal drugs. Frederick sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the federal civil rights statute, alleging a violation of his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The District Court they went to found no constitutional violation and ruled in favor of Morse. The court held that even if there were a violation, the principal had qualified immunity from lawsuit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. The Ninth Circuit cited Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which extended First Amendment protection to student speech except where the speech would cause a disturbance. Because Frederick was punished for his message rather than for any disturbance, the Circuit Court ruled, the punishment was unconstitutional. Furthermore, the principal had no qualified punishment, because any reasonable principal would have known that Morse's actions were unlawful. What is the most important issue in this case? The most important issue to me is that the factor leading school children to take drugs. As everyone knows drugs are bad so that is the main issue. Speech advocating illegal drug use poses a threat to student safety that is just as serious, if not always as immediately obvious. As we have recognized in the past and as the opinion of the Court today details, illegal drug use presents a grave and in many ways unique threat to the physical safety of students. I therefore conclude that the...
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