Time to drop Frederick case

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2006

The freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble are the rights granted to us by the first amendment in the Constitution of the United States of America.

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These rights are being denied to Joseph Frederick by the Juneau School Board. Frederick held up a sign off school grounds that said, "Bong hits 4 Jesus." The principal of Juneau-Douglas High School tore it down and gave him a suspension. To make a long story short, the school board is dragging Frederick to the U.S. Supreme Court. The school board has infringed on Frederick's rights as an American and I think it should drop their case against him and apologize.

I am not defending what he said or did, but merely voicing my concern over how our school board is treating the youth of our community. Young people in Juneau apparently have no voice. The school board should be their voice and advocate for their basic rights, not destroy them.

The school board needs to focus on the current issues students are facing, such as lowering the dropout rates, increasing the number of teachers in the classrooms and keeping the school safe - not age-old petty arguments. This Bong hits 4 Jesus incident happened several years ago and the school board is still fuming over it. It's not like Frederick was trying to personally insult the board itself. The past is the past, and I think we should stop looking into the past and look into the future. The school board is infringing on Joseph Frederick's rights as an American and I think it should drop its case against him and move on to fight the battles of students today.

Tom Parker


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