Thursday, September 13, 2007

California Gets Free Speech Ruling Right

The California Supreme Court refused to hear a school district's challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld a high school student's right to pen a anti-illegal immigrant editorial.
The justices unanimously denied review of an appeal by the Novato Unified School District, which was told by a lower court that it had violated the student's rights by yanking copies of the school newspaper out of circulation and telling parents that the editorial shouldn't have been published.

The student, Andrew Smith, wrote an editorial in the Novato High School newspaper in November 2001 saying any Latino who couldn't speak English was probably an illegal immigrant and should be taken in for questioning.

After hearing complaints, the principal held an assembly for parents and students, then ordered the remaining issues removed from circulation and sent a letter to parents saying the editorial violated school standards and shouldn't have run.

Smith said he was physically attacked on campus soon afterward. He was not disciplined by the school for the editorial and continued writing for the newspaper. He now attends community college in Santa Rosa, his lawyer said.

His suit sought $1 in nominal damages and a declaration that the school district had violated his rights. A Marin County judge rejected Smith's claims but was overruled May 21 by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
Free speech is not about political correctness, it is about ideas that challenge the common mindset.

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