Bethel School District v. Fraser 478 U.S. 675 (1986)
BETHEL SCHOOL DISTRICT v. FRASER 478 U.S. 675 (1986)
The Supreme Court had previously held that the first amendment's protection of freedom of speech does not stop at school doors. In this case the Court held that a student's freedom of speech is not coextensive with an adult's because school authorities may rightly punish a student for making indecent remarks in a school assembly, which disrupt the educational process. School authorities might constitutionally teach civility and appropriateness of language by disciplining the offensive student. Justice thurgood marshall agreed with the majority on the obligation of the school to safeguard its educational mission, but believed that the authorities failed to prove that the speech was offensive. Justice john paul stevens, also dissenting, claimed that the speech was not offensive. The case is significant as a diminution of free speech by students; they cannot say what can be said constitutionally outside a school.
Leonard W. Levy