Student Speech

Previously Censored Senior Reads “Dark” Poem at Graduation

By |2016-08-26T17:38:43-04:00June 1st, 2016|Blog, Incidents, NCAC at work|

I woke up today. And when I woke up I thought of A friend. I thought of Kyle, I thought of Jack, I thought of Tamir And those who we have lost, Those who Cannot wake up. This stanza from an original poem by senior at Austin High School in Austin, Texas led to him being prohibited from reading it at his graduation. Pablo [...]

Hazelwood: A Student’s Perspective

By |2019-03-15T17:05:23-04:00July 15th, 2011|Blog|

Two years ago I sat upon the graduation stage to receive a diploma that would end my 13-year relationship with the public school I attended since kindergarten.  As a member of a class of 125 students, this day symbolized endless shared memories and a common identity between us.  Out of the five speeches given, the three student speakers [...]

Student Speech Online: Can/Should Schools Punish It?

By |2019-03-15T16:22:52-04:00June 16th, 2011|Blog|

On Monday, June 13th 2011, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that two students who both created fake MySpace profiles parodying their school principals had been unfairly disciplined by their respective school districts. In both cases, the Court found that the schools had not shown that the students’ actions were sufficiently disruptive of school activities to justify disciplinary [...]

Moot Court Competition Examines Real Student Cyber-Speech Issues

By |2019-03-13T15:37:41-04:00February 22nd, 2011|Blog|

David Hudson of the First Amendment Center is connecting the dots between the hypothetical case presented in the 2011 First Amendment Moot Court Competition (in which the College Of William and Mary Law School emerged victorious -- Go Tribe!) and the questions of freedom and accountability surrounding online speech facing administrators and communities around the country: Many questions remain in [...]

Waterbury CT School District Attempts to Cancel August Wilson Play

By |2019-03-07T21:45:25-04:00January 18th, 2011|Blog|

Censorship continues full front attacks on all the arts. Two weeks into 2011, we've already seen censorship of David Wojnarowicz at the National Portrait Gallery; a new edition of Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn hit the bookstores, without the N-word; the arrest of Belarus theater director Nikolai Khalezin of Belarus Free Theatre and now the Waterbury Connecticut school district is attempting [...]

Court to rehear online student speech cases in PA

By |2019-03-07T23:06:53-04:00April 23rd, 2010|Blog|

The 3rd Circuit has agreed to rehear two seemingly contradictory online student speech cases decided in February (see here for more about the cases). It has vacated the previous opinions and all members of the court will hear arguments in both cases on June 3. The cases were decided based on the criterion of whether the speech was likely to [...]

Alito takes (another) stand on student speech

By |2019-03-15T15:31:14-04:00March 26th, 2010|Blog|

“[W]hen a public school purports to allow students to express themselves, it must respect the students’ free speech rights,” Justice Alito said in an opinion this week. His words came in a powerful dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case involving students’ musical choice for the graduation ceremony. Justice Alito, the conservative judge who took his [...]

Update on Student Speech in Pennsylvania

By |2019-03-07T23:06:46-04:00March 15th, 2010|Blog|

In February, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued contradictory opinions involving online student speech. The losing sides of both Layshock and Blue Mountain are asking the Court to rehear their cases before a full court. Both parties agree that the two opinions, issued the same day, seemingly contradict each other. Even the winning parties agree that the conflicting rulings [...]

Court Contradicts Itself on Student Speech

By |2019-03-14T18:07:23-04:00February 8th, 2010|Blog|

On Thursday the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued two seemingly contradictory opinions involving student speech. Both cases involved students who had created fake online profiles parodying the principals at their respective schools. Both students were punished by school officials for their speech. Despite the similarities, however, the Court ruled one student’s rights had been violated while denying relief to [...]

The Case of the Dangerous Font

By |2019-03-13T18:18:16-04:00July 1st, 2009|Blog|

Two weeks ago in a round-up of tales of student press censorship around the nation, we mentioned the case of PULP magazine, a publication produced by a journalism class at Orange High School.  Just a recap of the highly sensitive items that raised red flags for the school’s, principal, SK Johnson:  a Top Ten list that playfully advocates skinny-dipping and [...]

Censorship = Boring. Valedictorian in Florida ordered to rewrite speech

By |2019-03-14T17:45:25-04:00June 8th, 2009|Blog|

In efforts to liven up her graduation ceremony, Springstead High School Valedictorian Jem Lugo planned on giving a speech that would poke fun at traditional graduation messages while perhaps giving her fellow students some thoughts to remember: I’m not gonna get up here and start spouting these crazy incomprehensible seven syllable words I probably can’t even pronounce. Why would I [...]

Students Speak Out on Teacher Layoffs

By |2019-03-14T17:45:24-04:00May 29th, 2009|Blog|

It’s not every day that students’ voices are heard concerning school policy. Indeed, most major decisions in public education are made with little or no student input. But with teacher layoffs pending in school districts across the nation,  hundreds students in Los Angeles sought to change that dynamic last Friday, staging a walkout to protest plans to fire more than [...]

Contested speech on college campuses

By |2019-03-13T15:09:23-04:00April 15th, 2009|Blog|

Student Press: No Socialists Allowed At least that seems to be the case at Central Connecticut State University where student journalist, Marissa Blaszko, was apparently  fired last month from the school paper because of her connections to the student club, Youth for Socialist Action, and her anti-war politics. In response to the decision, Blaszko released a statement saying: They informed [...]

Student Speech “Muzzled”

By |2019-03-13T15:09:58-04:00April 10th, 2009|Blog|

Marking the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the First Amendment Center has issued their annual “Muzzle Awards”, a dubious honor given to “outstanding” Americans in violation of First Amendment principals. The story published on FAC's website notes that more than half of this year’s recipients are community college or K-12 administrators. While this bit of news is no surprise to [...]

Cyberbullying: Peer to Peer

By |2019-03-12T17:56:28-04:00February 9th, 2009|Blog|

This week, Blogging Censorship will look at student speech: the new technologies that create more spaces for free expression, and growing concerns about cyber-bullying, internet filtering, and student online speech off-campus. Today, we’ll look at cyber-bullying, peer-to-peer. That is, students harassing other students online. A recent report from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University declared that [...]