Discussion Questions On Smart Sue

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Question 1 Smart Sue is a premiere senior student at MHS! She is in the National Honor Society, takes AP classes, and has been granted a full scholarship to Harvard in the fall! SS is disenchanted with the “I Love Religion” extracurricular group that meets once a month after school to make scarves, hats, and mittens with the logo “MHS Students Love the Bible”, which they give away during lunch. SS feels the group is violating the separation of church and state; hence, she has been tweeting unfavorably about them before, during, and after school and has been quoted as stating, “They simply should be taken care of.” Although the group has not rebuked, the tension is escalating. Furthermore, SS has come to me, accusing Religious Ralph of…show more content…
Issue 2: Distribution of Religious Items The hypothetical did not state how the group’s items were distributed during lunch; however, in Peck v. Upshur County Board of Education (1998) the court ruled that as long as the dispersal is limited and passive, the school was neutral and not advancing religion. The tables should be located “where students normally congregate and would not feel they were being watched or pressured,” (LaMorte, 2012, p. 62) so lunch time is a good choice. The scenario didn’t state if someone stood at the table, which they are not allowed to do because students shouldn’t feel pressure to partake in the display. Moreover, in Tinker v. DesMoines (1969) and KA v. Pocono Mountains (2011), students can exercise their 1st Amendment Right of Freedom of Expression as long as it is not disruptive to the environment. Issue 3: Social Media The hypothetical did not state how the principal knew that tensions were escalating between SS and RR, nor does it state if SS was using school computers to tweet where other students could view her remarks. If there’s a disruption of learning then Tinker would apply. Furthermore, in Wisniewski v. Weedsport (2008), the student’s social media statement was not protected speech and Tinker was applied because there could reasonably be a foreseeable risk and the student was not protected from discipline because it was transmitted off campus. SS’s
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