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Law and Society
Notes 2C

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Bill of Rights Case 2C for Discussion

Obscene speech

At a high school in Washington is didn't need the following speech and assembly in support of his friends candidacy for a student government position:

" I know a man who is firm-he's firm in his pants, he's firm in his shirt, his character is firm-but most. . . Of all, his belief in view, the students of Bethel, is firm. Jeff Kulhman is in that it takes is point to and how is it in. If necessary to take an issue and nail it to the wall. He doesn't attack things in sports-he drives them hard, pushing and pushing until finally -he succeeds. Jeff is a man who go to the very end-even climax, for each and everyone of you. So vote Jeff for ASB Vice-President-never come between you and the best ourschool can be."

The student was suspended for three days for violating a school rule against using obscene or profane language. The student later sued the school district alleging that it violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

Questions:

1) Should it be constitutional for the school to prohibit students from using obscene or profane language?

2) If so, how does one decide which words are obscene?

3) In the above case, the student did not use any words that could be considered obscene. Is it proper to punish a speaker for innuendo?