To the editor:
I found it surprising that the article “Supreme Court ruling limits student speech” in the June 26 edition of the Brownwood Bulletin was only given a small section on the third page.
This particularly concerns me because in the First Amendment, protection of the press’s freedom of speech is placed directly beside an individual’s freedom of speech. If an individual’s freedom of speech is restricted, the media’s is soon to follow.
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech regardless of content. Although by no means do I believe in advocating illegal activity such as drug use, the Constitution does not differentiate between legal and illegal messages. (Perhaps this is because the Constitution was an illegal document in and of itself.)
Though Kennedy specifies that his opinion “provides no support for any restriction on speech that goes to political or social issues,” how is a pro-drug message, which is the basis for this student’s prosecution, not a political and social issue? This student’s disruption should have been handled within the school’s disciplinary system, not on a federal government level.
In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, not for the opinions they express.