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Opening Arguments

Fighting words

THE ACLU is suing the Griffith Public Schools district over the expulsion of three girls in January because of comments they posted to each other on Facebook. The suit says the use of Internet slang and emoticons made it clear the girls weren't really serious and their First Amendment rights are being violated. Not so, says the school district:

"These comments and this disturbing conversation posed a 'true threat' and two of the threatened students were so fearful of the threats that they missed classes and school," the district's response said.

[. . .]

One Griffith Middle School student's mother said her child refused to go to school because of "graphic threats," thus prompting her to alert school authorities.

I think we have to side with the school district here. It's impossible to really know how serious the threats were, so isn't the safe thing to treat them as very serious? How many times after a horrific school shooting have we heard, "The signs were there -- if only we'd paid attention"? So now they're paying attention, and we shouldn't be giving them grief over it.



Thu, 06/14/2012 - 2:14pm

The 1st Amendment doesn't give these children the right to say whatever they want.  It's just a reminder to the federal government that it doesn't have the power to interfer with free speech.  The 14th Amendment applied this denial of power to the state governments.

Children are under the control and care of their parents or school system and subject to their laws.  14 & 15 year olds have rights, but not the same as an adult.  This court case might help define these diferences.

I think the parents of these children, that made the threats, should face charges.  They are primarily responsible for these kids.