“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable,” Justice William Brennan. Before Shen gets into the “banning” business, it can become a teachable moment. Yes, even speech you find offensive is protected.

Written by on September 28, 2020

A. According to the Freedom of Speech section of the Code of Conduct:

The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution provides in part that Congress will make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, the right of people to assemble peaceably, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

While students are afforded the opportunity to exercise said rights, the building principal must be provided advanced notice of any potential acts or actions in order to appropriately allow said rights while preserving a positive learning environment. 

The District has the right to establish reasonable regulations for the exercise of these rights by its students so as to ensure and preserve a safe, orderly environment that is not disruptive to the educational process. 

Students have a right to wear or display buttons, arm bands, flags, decals, or other badges symbolic of personal expression, as long as the manner of expression does not significantly intrude on the orderly process of the school or the rights of others. Such symbols of expression must not contain obscene, lewd, vulgar, discriminatory, libelous material or material that advocates violence or prejudice on the basis of a protected classification as defined by the Dress Code in this policy.