Essay On School Sponsored Speech

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Elizabeth’s shirt is school-sponsored speech under the Hazelwood standard. To determine whether an activity is school-sponsored the following factors are assessed: whether or not the class was part of the school’s curriculum, whether or not the student receives a grade on the assignment, and who has the final say over the classroom material. Hazelwood Sch. Dist., 484 U.S. at 268. Furthermore, few activities could be classified more significantly, in terms of school-sponsored speech, than those that occur in a classroom type setting. Axson-Flynn v. Johnson, 356 F.3d 1277, 1289 (10th Cir. 2004). A poster, which was created as part of a classroom assignment was considered to be part of the school’s curriculum. Peck v. Baldwinsville Central …show more content…
Baker’s censoring of Elizabeth’s shirt represented viewpoint neutral censoring and therefore allowed under the Hazelwood standard. “A school must also retain the authority to refuse sponsor student speech that…associate[s] the school with any position other than neutrality on matters of political controversy.” Hazelwood Sch. Dist., 484 U.S. at 272. In DeFabio v. East Hampton Union Free Sch. Dist., the court held that a school’s limitation on student speech need only be “reasonable and viewpoint neutral. 623 F.3d 71, 78 (2nd Cir. 2010). That case dealt with a student who was banned from returning to school after threats made against him, due to insulting words he said against the race of another student who had died. The school did not allow DeFabio took present any speech, as that could have been interpreted as taking his side. DeFabio, 523 F.3d at 79. Ms. Baker took a similar approach as she was against any messages that were in favor of, or against, gun ownership. R-48. When in the courtyard she stopped both the anti-gun and pro-gun chants. R-35. She also explained to Elizabeth that any discussion of guns in a school setting, which is not supervised by a teacher, has a lot of potential for disruption. Id. Additionally, Elizabeth agrees that Ms. Baker informed her that any discussion of guns in school could cause a lot of trouble. R-36. Lastly, Elizabeth admits that her shirt was in favor of gun control, and not a viewpoint neutral stance. R-38. Combining the words of both Elizabeth and Ms. Baker shows that the school was attempting to adhere the rule set forth in Hazelwood and reinforced by DeFabio. In conclusion, Ms. Baker showed that she would have censored any speech relating to guns, not just anti-gun

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