#344 Bong Hits 4 Jesus Is About Free Speech, Not Drugs

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007
Subject: #344 Bong Hits 4 Jesus Is About Free Speech, Not Drugs


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #344 – Wednesday, 21 March 2007

On Monday, March 19th, the Supreme Court of the United States heard
oral arguments in the case informally known as “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.”

High school student Joseph Frederick was subjected to school
suspension for his display of a homemade banner while standing across
the street from school property, albeit during normal school hours.

While initial court rulings held in favor of the Juneau, Alaska school
district, the Ninth Circuit Court reversed in favor of Frederick.

The Ninth Circuit determined that the school district did not have the
right to unduly restrict the public demonstration by Frederick when he
elected to unfurl and display his 14-foot banner with the words, “Bong
Hits 4 Jesus.”

The school district appealed to the Supreme Court.

MAP has already archived a number of news clippings covering Monday’s
oral arguments in Washington, as well as some opinion items. These,
and additional clippings during the days ahead, may be found at:


Please consider writing letters to the papers list at the above line –
and to newspapers in your area. It is likely that most daily papers
provided some coverage of the hearing. You may find MAP’s links to
local newspapers at:


Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do – it’s what YOU do


Additional Information

The most complete review of the case, including links to all the
amicus briefs, that we are aware of is at:


Students for Sensible Drug Policy http://www.ssdp.org organized the
rally with the help of the Drug Policy Alliance http://www.drugpolicy.org
in order to draw media attention to students’ free speech concerns.
SSDP flew in high school students from across the country to hold
“Free Speech 4 Students” signs at the court, including a large banner
modeled after the one that started this case. The SSDP action was
featured in nearly every major news outlet in the country, including
photos in the Washington Post, New York Times, Philadelphia Enquirer,
and a front-page picture in USA Today. The USA Today article is at
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n351/a02.html The Philadelphia
Enquirer photo is linked from http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07.n355.a08.html

The SSDP action was also featured in news stories on CNN, MSNBC, Fox
News, and dozens of local TV news affiliates, as well as Channel One
News, which is broadcast in 60% of high schools nationwide. You may
view a three-minute montage video of the coverage at
http://www.ssdp.org/freespeech You may view many of TV news stories in
their entirety at http://www.youtube.com/ssdp


Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:


Or contact MAP Media Activism Facilitator Steve Heath for tips on how
to write LTEs that get printed.



Don’t Miss MAP’s New & Improved Online Media Activism Conferences

Join Steve and other LTE writing friends Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m.
Eastern, 8 p.m. Central, 7 p.m. Mountain, or 6 p.m. Pacific for a
roundtable discussion of how to write LTEs that are likely to be printed.

Additionally, we’ve added a Thursday roundtable at a later hour – 11
p.m. Eastern, 10 p.m. Central, 9 p.m. Mountain, or 8 p.m. Pacific.

See http://mapinc.org/resource/teamspeak/ for easy directions on how
to download, install and use the free TeamSpeak software. It runs on
Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Discussion is conducted with
live Voice (microphone and speakers are all that is needed) and also
via text messaging.



Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list (sentlte@mapinc.org) will help you to
review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see



Prepared by: The Media Activism Team www.mapinc.org/resource