A principal at Frederick Douglas Academy in the Bronx allowed students to place an anti-police poster in a hallway in her school. When questioned about the poster the principal cited that to take it down would violate FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS. The principal was only partially right in this case. (Especailly after the assassination of two NYPD officers.)The first amendment does guarantee us freedom of speech and expression unless the speech is inflammatory.Thanks to the Supreme Court in the case Schenck vs The United States (1919) which placed limitations on our freedom of speech. This limitation is called the Clear and Present Danger Test. The simplest way to explain it is walk into a crowded movie theater and scream FIRE when you are arrested, the arresting officer might explain that your actions could have caused a Dangerous situation in which people may have been injured or killed. (See Dan you’ve learned something that on the Regents.)
As an advocate for the first amendment I understand the power of the written word, but there is a fine line between advocating and instigating.
Oddly enough, Manhattan Center’s principal David Jimenez is not an advocate of the first amendment. In 2012, the students at Manhattan Center had started a petition to protect a gym teacher who was under attack by Assistant Principal Daniel Albetta. One student in particular began getting signatures in support of the Gym Teacher. Not happy by the response of the student Jimenez immediately suspended the student. Even though Supreme Court cases like Tinker Vs Des Monies state that students may participate in First Amendment activities like petitions or protests as long as they don’t disrupt the educational process. (See Dan another Landmark Supreme Court you can recite at your next Department meeting.) It was Jimenez’s response to the petition that disrupted the educational process in the form of the third walkout of his tenure as principal.
In 2008, Students at Manhattan Center practiced their first amendment rights when the protested the removal of Mike Thomas, a math teacher.
Students Protest Discipline Measures Against Harlem Teacher: http://youtu.be/DAwo3yV70iY
In 2013, Jimenez and his cronies once again took to violating the first amendment when they attacked former teacher Mike Thomas for handing out flyers to his blog on a public street. Read the first hand account in Mike Thomas’ own words at http://www.mcsmledger.blogspot.com
Jimenez in this case cited that Mr.Thomas was a threat to the students, but instead of calling the police Jimenez and his goon squad attacked Mr. Thomas.
It seems that the only time the first amendment is protected in schools is when principals cite it for their own benefit.