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Pyhrric victory

Remeber Bong Hits 4 Jesus? It is back in the news.

The seven-year Bong Hits 4 Jesus saga appears to be over.

In a free speech case that reached the nation's highest court, the Juneau-Douglas School District and former student Joseph Frederick have reached a settlement.

Frederick was suspended during a 2002 Olympic torch relay for holding up a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" while standing across from the high school.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school's position that Frederick celebrated the illegal use of drugs. The district will pay Frederick $45,000. In exchange Frederick will drop remaining claims not heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.


The settlement also calls for the district to spend as much as $5,000 to hire a neutral constitutional law expert to chair a forum on student speech at JDHS.

Anyone know a neutral constitutional law professor? It's probably alot like finding a non-partisan for a redistricting committee.

Walter at Overlawyered writes-

Imagine what the school would have had to pay if he'd won.
Imagine how much taxpayer money was spent on this lawsuit. I can.

Patterico, who thinks this was a nuisance settlement, asks the question-

"Who won this case again?" Sounds like to me the lawyers on both sides who got paid to work
on this case were the winners.


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Comments (3)

it was ridiculous for the s... (Below threshold)

it was ridiculous for the school district to think that they had any jurisdiction. the kid wasnt even on school premises, and "bong hits for jesus" isnt illegal speech (nor should it be)

we should all thank frederick for standing up for his rights for as long as he did. it was a very hard battle for him and i doubt the $45k makes up much for it

Frederick LOST</b... (Below threshold)

Frederick LOST the case.

Umm, it was a settlement, n... (Below threshold)

Umm, it was a settlement, no one lost. The court agreed on the issue of the nature of the speech, but settlement was reached before it ruled on whether the school the right to punish a student for out-of-school behavior, which they would likely lose. Thus, they paid him for infringing on his rights without admitting wrongdoing or having to change their stupid policy.






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