Parents of a California high school student, who was suspended for writing essays about starting a school riot and killing the principal, have sued the school for violating the student’s First Amendment rights. The suspension may be the first use of a new state law which allows schools to discipline students for threatening school officials.
According to a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the essays didn’t appear to violate the law. She said it was her opinion that the essays were “disturbing” but were protected by the First Amendment.
His mother said, “He’s always writing about current news events. He questions authority, but he doesn’t cross the line.”
California already has laws which protect people from harassment and schools were already allowed to discipline students for disobedience.The new law is a blatant attempt to censor the writing and speech of students in California.
If your school tries to suspend you for writing essays that are opposed by the government, then WHILE YOU ARE IN YOUR PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE, mention this California case and threaten to file a similar one. The principal may not suspend you if he or she wants to avoid attention from the media and a court battle. If you are still suspended, use your first day off to write a press release and then spend your next day off talking to reporters.
Threatening to sue your school is one threat that the government can’t outlaw.