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Arkansas Students Wrongly Punished for Wearing Armbands to School

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 08:17 PM
Original message
Arkansas Students Wrongly Punished for Wearing Armbands to School
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

ACLU Asks Court to Stop School District From Violating Students Free Speech Rights

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas today filed a federal lawsuit charging that the Watson Chapel school district violated students free speech rights by suspending students for wearing black armbands in opposition to the school uniform policy.

Students planned to wear the black armbands, which are about a quarter-inch wide with no writing, to school Friday, October 6th to silently protest the policy. After reports of the plan appeared in the media, school officials announced that students wearing the armbands would be suspended from school for three days. Several students wore the bands anyway and more than 30 elementary, junior high and high school students were disciplined and forced to remove the bands. Sixteen junior high students and four high school students received suspensions ...

http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/youth/27038prs20061010.html
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. And J.H.S./H.S. disciplinary actions now require police to enforce?
According to Lowry, in the library, there were two Pine Bluff police officers and a Jefferson County Sheriffs Deputy, in uniform and armed, who appeared to be in charge.

:wtf:

Intimidation, plain and simple.
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AbbyR Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. You'd have to know the local superintendent
I live about three miles from the school in question, and my children attended there until I pulled them out. My younger daughter got to the point were she couldn't stand the rednecks (her term.) The super is VERY power mad, thinks he's king of the district. I have no problem with school uniforms, but if it's being enforced by Danny Knight (the super) you can bet it's being over enforced.


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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Slam dunk...
...unless they are going to make a distinction between middle-schoolers and high schoolers, or are looking to overturn Tinker v. DesMoines, for which see here.

1. In wearing armbands, the petitioners were quiet and passive. They were not disruptive and did not impinge upon the rights of others. In these circumstances, their conduct was within the protection of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth. Pp. 505-506.

2. First Amendment rights are available to teachers and students, subject to application in light of the special characteristics of the school environment. Pp. 506-507.

3. A prohibition against expression of opinion, without any evidence that the rule is necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or the rights of others, is not permissible under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Pp. 507-514.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Never ceases to amaze me when schools do such dumb things
The precedent is damn near absolute, and perfectly on point.

I have seen administrators meltdown over websites that criticize them and thier schools in much the same manner. Generally ends up costing the school 10s of thousands, which is paid by the taxpayers. The idiots who gave the orders never pay a dime, and rarely even get a letter of reprimand, let alone fired at the end of their contract.
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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-14-06 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. While I have no doubt that the school board and administrations
are filled with more than enough idiots to let something like this take place, you have to wonder where their lawyers were. If the lawyers thought this was a good idea, the school needs new lawyers.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-17-06 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. That assumes that they would think to ask
School administrators generally believe that no one has the right to intrude on their governing of their little fiefdom. I highly doubt any sort of counsel was consulted to see if this was legitimate.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I think you hit the nail on the head. Anytime I see these authoritarian or
fundie whackjobs on the local level blatantly violating folks' constitutional rights it's obvious to me they never bother asking their attorneys if there is a problem with what they plan to do.........
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