Inmates Of Our Public Schools, Take Heart:
* The Tide Has Turned
*** Douche Bags On Run!
Sen. LeBeau's Official Announcement
On Free Speech Bill
February 2, 2008
LeBeau Introduces Bill
To Protect The First Amendment Rights
State Senator Gary D. LeBeau (D-East Hartford) — who taught in the public school system for 36 years before retiring in 2007 — has introduced a bill seeking to protect the First Amendment “free speech” rights of students with regard to their electronic communications both in and out of school, as long as those communications do not pose a threat to other students or school personnel.
Sen. LeBeau has introduced Senate Bill 478, “AN ACT CONCERNING THE ELECTRONIC CORRESPONDENCE OF STUDENTS,” which seeks to amend two sections of the Connecticut General Statutes (10-233c and 10-233d) in order to prevent school authorities from punishing students for the content of any electronic correspondence they may transmit outside of school, or with school equipment, provided such content is not a threat to students or school personnel.
“It’s a basic right that shouldn’t be impinged upon without an extremely important reason,” Sen. LeBeau said. “I’m trying to create a bright line here. The key is the rationale for punishing students for speech that is ‘potentially disruptive.’ But if it’s not done in school, if it doesn’t use school resources, and it is not sent to school computers, then it’s minimally disruptive at best and should be protected as free speech.”
Sen. LeBeau’s proposed bill — which has been referred to the education Committee for consideration — is based on the case of Lewis Mills High School student Avery Doninger, who created a free-speech uproar in 2007 with an online posting about school officials.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE UPCOMING TRIAL ...
Student Was Punished
For Seeking Redresss Of Grievances
After Postponements, Cancellation
Of Popular Music Festival
They Face Trial In U.S. District Court,
For Suppression & Seizure Of Free Speech T-Shirts
Fox61 Report, September 07,
After 1st Ruling By Travesty Kravitz
Following is a Readers Digest version
of the Doninger case:
Avery Doninger, a volunteer in the Americorps national public service program, has a civil rights trial pending in New Haven U.S. District Court. [Among her duties on the job: helping hurricane victims in Texas.]
Avery, a 2008 graduate of Lewis Mills High School in Burlington, CT, and her mother, Lauren Doninger, sued Principal Karissa Niehoff and Superintendent Paula Schwartz [now retired] after they removed Avery from the ballot for class secretary.
Avery Doninger was among a group of four students who lobbied the community for support of an annual battle of the bands sponsored by the Student Council. The student council adviser suggested the students reach out to taxpayers and the students copied the adviser an on email to the community.
Schwartz became very upset after taxpayers called her and she cancelled the event known as Jamfest. Doninger subsequently referred to administrators in a live journal blog as central office douche bags, and Schwartz's son found the posting while trolling the internet for his mother a couple weeks later. While Avery Doninger was banned from school office, another student who called Schwartz a dirty whore was given an award and lauded for citizenship.
School officials suppressed the write-in vote in which Doninger was elected by a plurality. Schwartz refused to accept Doninger's apology for her choice of words. During an assembly, Niehoff banned free-speech and Team Avery t-shirts and seized at least one shirt.
The Doningers have been seeking -- among other remedies -- an apology for civil rights violations and recognition of the write-in victory.
New Haven U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz denied a motion for a preliminary injunction [immediate relief] in August 2007. Based on errors in the record, Travesty Kravitz's injunction ruling was upheld by the U.S. Second Circuit in New York.
Travesty Kravitz held a hearing in November 2008 on Doninger's request for a trial. He cut off discussion about various frauds - including false testimony - upon the court and ultimately ordered a trial on Jan. 15, 2009. But, he limited the scope of the trial to the narrow issue of the suppression and seizure of free speech t-shirts.
Appeals are likely on a number of rulings narrowing the scope of the case.
On Jan. 22, 2009, Connecticut State Senator Gary LeBeau filed a landmark bill to protect student speech.
On Jan. 23, 2009, Travesty Kravitz scheduled jury selection and a trial for civil rights violations related to the suppression and seizure of free speech t-shirts.
Oldie But Goodie From The Douche Bag Chronicles: