PLS 460 Bethel School District No 403 v Fraser

PLS 460 Bethel School District No 403 v Fraser -...

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Bethel School District No 403 v Fraser Facts of the Case: At a school assembly of approximately 600 high school students, Matthew Fraser made a speech nominating a fellow student for elective office. In his speech, Fraser used what some observers believed was a graphic sexual metaphor to promote the candidacy of his friend. As part of its disciplinary code, Bethel High School enforced a rule prohibiting conduct which "substantially interferes with the educational process . . . including the use of obscene, profane language or gestures." Fraser was suspended from school for two days. Question: Does the First Amendment prevent a school district from disciplining a high school student for giving a lewd speech at a high school assembly?
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Unformatted text preview: Conclusion: No. The Court found that it was appropriate for the school to prohibit the use of vulgar and offensive language. Chief Justice Burger distinguished between political speech which the Court previously had protected in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) and the supposed sexual content of Fraser's message at the assembly. Burger concluded that the First Amendment did not prohibit schools from prohibiting vulgar and lewd speech since such discourse was inconsistent with the "fundamental values of public school education." Decisions Decision: 7 votes for Bethel School District No. 403, 2 vote(s) against Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly...
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2010 for the course PLS 460 taught by Professor Lermack during the Spring '10 term at Bradley.

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