Legal Analysis of Freedom of Expression

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Date Submitted: 06/01/2008 05:42 PM

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Legal Analysis of Freedom of Expression

Under The First Amendment of the United States Constitution United States citizens are protected and guaranteed the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message including, but not limited to, attire and sexual orientation. Are our first amendment rights being upheld in the courts today against discrimination from the school systems our children attend? Are there different rules that apply to educational institutions? Is it not a violation of the First Amendment to impose a dress code at a public school that prohibits any clothing or accessorie that claims to advertise “sexual orientation”? What kind of clothing advertises someone’s sexual orientation? Is an eight year old that wears a rainbow shirt advertising for the gay community? Who makes these decisions and are they ethical and more importantly, are they a violation of our First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and Human Rights laws? Gender identity is included as a protected class just as race, ethnicity and religion are. Have the courts caught up with this very real issue? More important, have our schools updated their policies to accommodate this group of students?

A particular case that screams violation occurred in Gary, Indiana in 2006. A male student by the name of Kevin Logan wanted to go to his high school prom wearing a dress. He arrived at his senior prom in a pink ankle length gown and was refused entrance. He responded with a federal lawsuit claiming that the public school violated his right to freedom of expression and his right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Logan considers himself a transgender as his sex is male but his expression of gender is female.

The Attorneys for the district responded formally stating that the federal courts do not have jursdiction over the case. They said that they do...