Katie Sierra gets her dollar.
July 13, 2002 1:49 AM   Subscribe

Katie Sierra gets her dollar. Anarchy club good. Controversial t-shirt bad.
posted by raaka (9 comments total)
Let in the anarchists and the next thing you know the Christians will want a club too.
posted by Postroad at 5:50 AM on July 13, 2002

Sissonville High School with the requisite tacky flag animation.

I'm glad I don't live in a backward state.
posted by fleener at 8:13 AM on July 13, 2002

Legally sanctioned anarchy. Sometimes true is better than fiction.
posted by Bag Man at 10:18 AM on July 13, 2002

So the jury says that Katie can start an anarchist's club, but can't wear a t-shirt that says... what? We don't even know what the T-shirt in question said. Obviously, the reporters interviewed Sierra. Shouldn't she know, of all people? And in any case, how can the school ban purely political speech in light of this decision?
posted by skoosh at 10:19 AM on July 13, 2002


A legal note: TINKER v. DES MOINES SCHOOL DIST my be distinguishable ...The clothing in Tinker only caused a "mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint." Perhaps the court found in the present case (and I can't say because I have not read the opinion) that the slogans on the t-shirts went above and beyond this standard. In Tinker, the Supreme Court gives us little go on in terms of what needs to present for a slogan or piece of clothing to go above and this standard. The court only reasons, "anticipation of such disruption" was not enough to ban the speech.

Further, the reasoning and holding of Tinker have been very heavily disagreed with and have been distinguished by many, many case. Over 1000 cases (or more, I got tied of scrolling through KeySite on Westlaw) have disagreed or been distinguished from Tinker, perhaps the T-shirts in question fit into an exception, which would allow them to be banned.

Although I hope this post has shed some light on the matter, I personally I take issue with the Sierra decision to ban the t-shirts (pending a better legal explanation or some additional rational).
posted by Bag Man at 11:00 AM on July 13, 2002

Board member Pete Thaw told her, “It’s just like you stand up on Pearl Harbor Day and started waving a Japanese flag,” while member John Luoni said, “We will not allow a treasonous club at Sissonville High School or any other school.”

next time you hear about some stupid school board decision, remember these guys.
posted by lescour at 11:07 AM on July 13, 2002

The 700 club is pretty awesome. I can't wait until I can shed these sinful mortal bonds and play harps in heaven and be oh oh so happy.
posted by Satapher at 11:08 AM on July 13, 2002

Katie with t-shirt.

Infoshop: What did your T-shirt say?

KS: Well, there's more than one. The one I got suspended for said "Racism, Sexism, Homophobia..I'm so proud of the people in the land of the so called "Free". Then the next week after my principal allowed me to wear them again...and then made me take it off again said "When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America."

It's the kind of political message that would make me angry, though it's her right to make people angry, and under other circumstances I might agree with it. By long-established case law, though, schools can regulate the display of political messages as well as what students wear, on the basis of disruptive effect.

It's also long-established case law, though, that schools can't ban some messages and fail to ban others, by for instance picking and choosing student clubs. Some schools would actually rather have no after-school programs at all than permit, frex, a gay-straight alliance. So both decisions broke little new ground.
posted by dhartung at 11:28 PM on July 13, 2002

Isn't it a little ironic that an anarchy club would even ask to be accepted by the school? Like, where's your anarchist spirit? Have one anyway! Do whatever it takes to make it the most visible, popular club around!
posted by dammitjim at 11:49 AM on July 16, 2002

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