The Worldnutdaily is reporting that Ken Starr, famous for his prosecution of Clinton in the 90s, has petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of a school in Alaska in the case of Frederick v Morse. The case involves a student who, on a day when students were released from school to watch the olympic torch go by, held up a banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” on it. The school principal suspended him for 10 days and he filed suit against them. The district court ruled for the school but the 9th district court overturned that decision and ruled in favor of the student. Starr is now apparently representing the school and wants the Supreme Court to hear the case.
This was a relatively close case. The crux of the decision, I think, is whether this was an official school function or not. The school says it was, but the student showed a school memo about it saying it was just a school release and so they did not need parent permission, as they would need for a field trip. Further, the other students testified that there was no requirement that they be there, that many people skipped it or left and no one told them not to, and that they weren’t required to stay together or under a teacher’s supervision as they would on a field trip. Thus, the court concluded that this was not a school function and therefore the school had no authority. On balance, I would agree. I’ll be curious to see if the Court grants cert in the case.
And let’s please not turn the comments into a Starr-bashing fest over Monica Lewinsky. That is totally irrelevant to the subject of this post.