Fifty-six years after it exempted antiwar teenagers from First Amendment protections while on campus, a federal appeals court in America's heartland affirmed students' speech rights in public schools on an equally contentious subject today.
The St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction Monday against an Iowa school district policy that threatens suspension and expulsion for "intentional and/or persistent refusal … to respect" a peer's gender identity, finding it's likely too vague to survive legal scrutiny.
"A school district cannot avoid the strictures of the First Amendment simply by defining certain speech as 'bullying' or 'harassment'" as did the Linn-Mar Community School District, the three-judge panel ruled in a case that drew friend-of-the-court briefs by dozens of conservative and religious groups and 18 Republican-led states in favor of the plaintiffs.
BREAKING: The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals orders a preliminary injunction of a policy requiring students and school staff “to respect a student’s gender identity,” explaining: “A school district cannot avoid the strictures of the First Amendment simply by defining certain speech… pic.twitter.com/MLOoVE9oP0— Laura Powell (@LauraPowellEsq) September 29, 2023