Hazelwood V. Kuhlmeier

Chloe Powell

The Issue

- 1988 (Missouri)

- Students in a class at Hazelwood East High School wrote the school paper, "The Spetrum."

- Two articles were written, one about a girl who blames her father for her parents divorce, and the other, about pregnant teens at the school sharing their stories/experiences. (Names were changed to protect their privacy).

- The principal looked over the submitted articles and deemed them inappropriate topics and took them out of the paper.

- He also gave the father mentioned in one of the articles a chance to respond, as the students did not. He also told them that changing the names of the girls mentioned was not enough to protect their identity.

Their claim

- The students took the issue to the U.S. District Court. They argued that their first amendment rights (Freedom of Speech) had been violated, and that they should be allowed to write about their chosen topics.


The supreme court ruled that their first amendment rights were not violated (5-3). Because the school sponsored the paper, they had the right to choose what gets published.