Hazelwood School District V. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988)

In: Social Issues

Submitted By richardsonc
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LEGAL BRIEF

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988)
5-3; Justice White for the majority

FACTS: Three former Hazelwood East high school students who were staff members of Spectrum, the school newspaper are suing Robert Reynolds, the principal of Hazelwood High School and Howard Emerson, their Journalism II teacher. The students believed that their school officials violated their First Amendment rights by removing two pages of articles from their upcoming new issue of Spectrum. The reasons for removing the articles based on Reynolds analysis, was because in the first article about pregnancy, it information was so descriptive that any of the students or faculty could identify the pregnant students from the text without giving out their identities. In the second article that was removed, a student argued about the impact of divorce on students at the school in her own opinions, but didn’t have consent from the parents to the publication of the article. The District Court found that no First Amendment violations had occurred. The District Court also determined that school officials could impose restraints on students' speech in the school sponsored newspaper. Even though the students believed what Reynolds did was wrong, he did have reasonable evidence to do what was right for the high school. Although the District Court made a decision, The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit had a different opinion. The court found out the schools newspaper is not only a public forum but that it is also not part of the school curriculum. After reviewing Reynolds arguments, the Court of Appeals reversed their verdict and upheld no violations of First Amendment rights occurred. ISSUE: Whether school officials can remove student publications when they believe material is unsuitable for younger students, or for reasons it could possibly disrupt the…...

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