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Please identify a court case based on the freedom of assembly.

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hina12345 | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted January 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM via web

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Please identify a court case based on the freedom of assembly.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 4, 2011 at 7:26 PM (Answer #1)

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There are many examples of Supreme Court cases that deal with the assembly issue.  The one I find fairly interesting is the case of Bethel School District vs. Fraser.  The details of the case are that Fraser was a student at Bethel High School.  He delivered a speech at a school assembly for student elections that was laced with sexual innendo and sexually charged language.  The school suspended Fraser citing the violation of the school handbook that called for punishing speech that disrupts the learning environment.  Bethel sued and a lower court agreed with him, arguing that the school did indeed take away from his right to free speech at an assembly.  The school district appealed and the Court heard the case.  The Court ruled that Bethel School District was correct in their finding against Fraser.  The Court decision indicated some interesting elements.  The first is that the right to free speech at an assembly at a school has to demonstratete tenets of good citizenship.  Freedom of assembly is not an automatic blank check to say and do whatever one wants.  At the same time, the Court ruled that students are held to a slightly different standard during assemblies at school.  Justice Burger   argued that students in school have less protection under the First Amendment than adults in public.  Students' right to free speech and assembly have to be concurrent with the tenets of good citizenship in public.

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