Zachary MintzReporter November 18, Fraser was a soon-to-graduate senior at Bethel, a public high school on the outskirts of Tacoma, Washington. After two lower courts sided with Fraser, his case made its way up to the Supreme Court where in a vote inthe court sided with the Bethel School District and upheld their punishment of Fraser as legitimate and constitutional.
Bethel School District v. FraserU. High school student Matthew Fraser was suspended from school in the Bethel School District in Washington for making a speech including sexual double entendres at a school assembly.
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We granted certiorari to decide whether the First Amendment prevents a school district from disciplining a high school student for giving a lewd speech at a school assembly. On April 26,respondent Matthew N. Fraser, a student at Bethel High School in Pierce County, Washington, delivered a speech nominating a fellow student for student elective office. Approximately high school students, many of whom were year-olds, attended the assembly.
Close Print View. In the case Bethel School District v. Fraser, the Supreme Court hears arguments related to the power of a public school to censor the speech of its students.
Jump to navigation. Respondent public high school student hereafter respondent delivered a speech nominating a fellow student for a student elective office at a voluntary assembly that was held during school hours as part of a school-sponsored educational program in self-government, and that was attended by approximately students, many of whom were year-olds. During the entire speech, respondent referred to his candidate in terms of an elaborate, graphic, and explicit sexual metaphor.
In the decision, the court ruled that Washington state high school officials could suspend Fraser for delivering a speech with sexual references before a student assembly at Bethel High School. The speech contained numerous sexual references. Excerpts from the speech include:.
Bethel School District No. Frasercase in which the U. In April Matthew Fraser, a student at Bethel High School in Washington state, gave a nominating speech for a classmate who was running for an office in student government.
Taking a broad view of school officials' disciplinary authority, the Supreme Court today upheld by 7 to 2 a school's two-day suspension of a year-old student who made what it called a ''lewd and indecent'' speech to a high school assembly. Burger said for himself and four other members of the majority. His broadly worded opinion said ''schools must teach by example the shared values of a civilized social order'' and must have broad discretion to punish what officials consider ''inappropriate'' speech in classrooms and assemblies.