This was not always the case. When the First Amendment was adopted, it only applied to Congress and the Federal Government and not the states (First Amendment Center, n.d.). It was not until the 1925 Supreme Court Case of Gitlow v. People, where it was determined that the First Amendment “rights” were to be extended to the individual states, and by extension, the public schools, via the Fourteenth Amendment and its equal protection clause (1925). That did not automatically grant students first amendment rights. It took almost twenty more years until the Supreme Court specifically extended first amendment protection to students in the public school systems. In 1943, the case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (319 U.S. 624, 1943), involved students who were Jehovah’s Witnesses, who refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, citing religious reasons. The school disciplined the students and their parents, but the students sued on...
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McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950). Retrieved from http://supreme.
Rothman, J. E. (2001). Freedom of speech and true threats. Harvard Journal of Law and Public
Policy, 25(1), 283-367. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). Retrieved
U.S. Const. amend. I
Watts v. United States, 394 U.S. 705 (1969). Retrieved from http://supreme.justia.
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnett, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). Retrieved from http://
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