Tuesday, August 21, 2007

ACLU Ct. Supports Avery Doninger With Amicus Brief


Editorial comments in italics-

Defendants have no legal authority to punish Ms. Doninger for her internet post on her home computer.

Defendants had no authority to prohibit Ms. Doninger and her classmates from wearing t-shirts in school that bore non-vulgar slogans protesting the punishment.

Critical thinking is acceptable now?

Both actions violated Ms. Doninger's First Amendment and state constitutional speech and petitioning rights.

You mean the kids don't have to walk in lock-step at the whim of authorities? They can reach out to the community for support, even if lots of citizens call the superintendent?

Mere student "buzz," i.e., animated discussion in response to the speech content, does not rise to the level of "substantial disruption."

It's OK for kids to talk about real issues -- in school?

Nor do the shock, outrage, revulsion or hurt feelings of administrators.

Grow up, douchebags!

[Cases cited by the defendant administrators] squarely refute defendants' extraordinary assertion of a round-the-clock power to police student lives and student morals.

You mean they can't just make up stuff and play Big Brother / Big Sister [the Orwell type]?

Second Circuit Precedent (including post-Morse authority) denies defendants power to punish non-disruptive vulgar student speech occurring off-school premises.

The arm of authority does not reach beyond the schoolhouse gate.

School officials have no legal authority to prevent students from wearing t-shirts expressing opposition to the school's actions against Ms. Doninger.

The t-shirts in question were banned … because of their content, and more specifically because of their viewpoint.

Defendants appear to believe they have the nigh-plenary power to bar Ms. Doninger from student office because running for and holding elective student office are privileges and not rights. If so, the defendants are again badly mistaken … Defendants could not condition student office on an undertaking to refrain from outside political activity. They could not condition it on an undertaking never to criticize the principal. And they cannot condition it on an undertaking never to do so in vulgar terms. Nothing in defendant's submissions, therefore, justifies their suppression of Ms. Doninger's First Amendment liberties.

Defendants arguments are meritless.

Respectfully Submitted,
Renee Redman
American Civil Liberties Foundation
Martin B. Margulies
Quinnipiac University School of Law

Disrespectfully Posted,
The Editor

Lewis Mills High School, Welcome To The United States Of America. Get Ready To Meet The Bill Of Rights.

Link To Complete Amicus Brief


Anonymous said...

Question: Is this to say that had Avery actually done this on school property, AND had she used a school computer, that the outcome would be any different from what Judge Kravitz rules?

Anonymous said...

All this nonsense about legal definitions of words when it comes down to one issue. A student who blatantly disrespects anyone she wants to and when called on it, has a hissy fit. The worst part about it is also having a parent that acts the same way. I guess apples don't fall far from the same tree!