Morse v. Frederick

By: Reese Roehrig 4A


At a school event, Joseph Frederick held up a banner that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." Principal Morse suspended Frederick for ten days because the banner went against the school's policy of promoting illegal drugs and Frederick sued.
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Constitutional Reference and Issue Before the Court

Does a principal violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment by restricting speech at a school-supervised event when the speech is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use?

Precedent Established

The case upheld the authority of public school administrators to suspend students for promoting illegal drugs at a school event and stated that the speech rights of public school students are not as extensive as those adults normally enjoy.
Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Historic Significance

The banner emphasized the importance of free speech and the need to foster a national debate over what is actually covered under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Significance Today

Lets current students know that it is not their right to promote illegal drug use on school grounds.

Future Significance

This case can be used as a reference for future disagreements between students and schools over how the Free Speech Clause is handled in school settings.