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Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier

United States Supreme Court
484 U.S. 260 (1988)


Facts

Kuhlmeier (plaintiff) and two others were staff members of Spectrum, the school newspaper at Hazelwood East High School in the Hazelwood School District (defendant). Before each issue of the newspaper was published, the journalism teacher would submit it to the school’s principal for final review. During the spring 1983 semester, the principal reviewed a draft of the newspaper containing two articles on the topics of teen pregnancy and divorce. Believing these articles were inappropriate for the student audience and that there was not sufficient time to edit the articles and still make the publication deadline, the principal ordered the journalism teacher to delete these two articles from the final publication draft. Kuhlmeier argued that this decision violated their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, and brought suit against the school district in federal district court. The district court held for the school district, but the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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