Do You Have Freedom of Speech Inside a School Building?

Posted: December 2, 2014 in Articles
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A high school student named Michael Leal attends Cascade High School in Washington state. Michael Leal is a Christian and he believes that it is his responsibility to share his beliefs with others.

After doing so, however, the school threatened to expel him, saying that he was being disruptive and that the tracts he was handing out may have been offensive. Michael Leal believes his freedom of speech rights are being violated and has therefore begun a lawsuit against the school. (Source:

Just to be clear, the school was not just disallowing Christian literature and speech.  Any literature, including the Constitution, could be distributed “to other students only at the school entrances and exits before and after school, and the literature must be written by a student.”

While this may seem reasonable, we do not think that it is. Just because one is in a school building should not mean that one no longer has his freedom of speech rights. We believe that people should be respected and we believe that students can and should be able to say, “No, thank you” if not interested, or “I’d like to hear more” if interested.

Jehovah’s Witnesses come to our door fairly frequently and we just politely say, “No, thank you.” They generally go away, even if we may have to tell them more than once. They are nothing compared to the telemarketers and donation centers who call our home every day, who have to practically be hung up on in order to get rid of them.

Then, there is a beggar at an intersection we drive past on a weekly basis, who goes up to people’s cars and bangs on their windows with his cup. This is not so polite as the Jehovah’s Witnesses; this is threatening and therefore should be against the law.

The guy at the school, well, he was just talking and people can politely disagree with him or just walk away. While some may be offended or annoyed, that’s life. You have the freedom to walk away, you can ask him not to speak to you about whatever is offending or annoying you, and you certainly are under no obligation to agree with him.

Christians do not generally try to stuff their beliefs down your throats and they also do not generally get violent. This may be why they are often targeted – because they aren’t violent. You can insult them, burn their Bibles, and curse their God, but they will not harm you. There is one offensive thing, though, that they can’t help.

Jesus is offensive to people. You can’t say His name without offending many. There is no Christianity without Jesus, though, and therein lies the problem of the offensive Christian. The attack is ultimately directed at Jesus.

We have the God-given right of free speech, and the government is supposed to protect that right. In the end, it’s weak people who want to force people around and control their every move.

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