"I know a man who is firm -- he's firm in his pants, he's firm in his shirt, his character is firm -- but most . . . of all, his belief in you, the students of Bethel, is firm. Jeff Kuhlman is a man who takes his point and pounds it in. If necessary, he'll take an issue and nail it to the wall. He doesn't attack things in spurts -- he drives hard, pushing and pushing until finally -- he succeeds. Jeff is a man who will go to the very end -- even the climax, for each and every one of you. So vote for Jeff for A. S. B. vice-president -- he'll never come between you and the best our high school can be."
Bethel School District V. Fraser (1986)
S P E EC H I N S C H O O L S
BETHEL SCHOOL DISTRICT V.
BETHEL SCHOOL DISTRICT V. FRASER
Censorship of Expression in Public High Schools
Mathew Fraser presented a speech in school for his friend in
an upcoming class election
The speech consisted of numerous sexual innuendos, mostly
in reference to his friends sexual prowess
Bethel School District suspended Fraser from school for three
days, prohibited him from speaking at his graduation, and had
his name stricken from the list of potential speakers
Fraser’s parents felt this was an abridgement of his First
Amendment rights and took Bethel School District to Court
The Federal Court ruled in favor of Fraser
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bethel School District
FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATION:
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Bethel School District:
Violation of Code of Conduct
Lower Grade Disturbance
First Amendment Protection
Vague Code of Conduct
Lack of School Disturbance
The Fraser family and student body felt that Bethel School District
was imposing on Mathew Fraser’s First Amendment rights;
therefore, the punishment was unconstitutional
RELATION TO COMMUNICATION
Having freedom of speech is a vital part of
The United States first amendment was in
part based upon the right to persuade
others and express opinions for elections
Matthew Fraser’s speech was in relation to a
Brings morality and ethics into question
when presenting a speech
Where certain speech is prohibited
becomes a factor in communication
Proved the schools code of conduct upheld over the first
Disturbances within schools
Taught students the boundaries and appropriate behavior in various
Created limitations when children are involved
Supreme Court ruling in favor of
Bethel School District
Fraser’s unnecessary use for obscene
Right to make an example for the
teachings of appropriate behavior
Schools have the right to decipher
appropriate speech use within
AdventureAndy. “Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser.” YouTube.
YouTube, 25 March 2013. 15 Sept. 2015.
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Fraser, Matthew. "Matthew Fraser Speech." Matthew Fraser Speech.
Matthew Fraser, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Bethel School District Logo. Digital image. Bethel School District (Washington).
N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
Grundvig, Peter. Bethel High School. Digital image. Archinect People. N.p., n.d.
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Man Giving a Speech Silhouette. Digital image. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.
N.p., Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
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Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
School: Children Crossing Sign. Digital image. BestMadurai.com. N.p., n.d. Web.
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