A high school principal in Nevada is under fire for suspending 12 students who posted pro-marijuana signs on campus.
Carson Valley Middle School Principal Robert Been claimed the signs, which read “Legalize Weed” and “Free The Weed,” caused a “disruption” at the school, reports Scott Neuffer at the North Lake Tahoa Bonanza.
Principal Been, office telephone number (775) 782-2265 extension 21, email address [email protected], claimed the signs violated a policy requiring all signs to be “approved by staff” before being displayed.
The group hung nearly 30 signs at the school in Gardnerville, which is in northern Nevada, as part of a protest after three classmates were arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of smoking marijuana next to campus on November 9.
|Graphic: The Liberty Voice
Been said about a dozen freshmen were disciplined, ranging from one-day in-school suspensions to three-day out-of-school suspensions, for “inappropriately expressing opinions” on marijuana use.
“A number of friends decided to be somewhat creative,” Principal Been said.
He said pro-marijuana signs were posted on walls, ceilings, and around garbage cans and soda machines around the school, which has about 800 students in grades 7-9.
“Arresting kids is not part of Tiger Pride,” one sign read, according to the principal.
“Essentially, the gist of it is that it was a disruption to the school environment and counter to what we are trying to do in an educational environment,” Been said.
Well, it certainly wouldn’t do to have any “creative” thinking going on in educational environment, now would it? Wait a minute…
Allen Lichtenstein of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) questioned whether the signs really caused a disruption, and said he believes it was their message that inspired the crackdown and expulsion of the 12 students.
Meanwhile, Douglas County School District officials are urging parents to talk to their kids about “appropriate” ways to express themselves at school in the wake of the suspensions.
“One thing parents can do is have talks with their kids,” Superintendent Lisa Noonan said. “They are obviously entitled to their opinions, but they have to express them in appropriate ways, so they don’t create a bigger disturbance for the school.”
Not surprisingly, Noonan said she agreed with the course of action taken by Principal Been.
“The whole First Amendment issue has certain restrictions when coming through that front door,” she claimed.
“This is what I call a disruption of the learning environment,” Noonan said. “We want an orderly environment.”
Principal Been said there was a “similar infraction” about two weeks ago, involving one of the same students
Otherwise, he claimed, that “type of behavior” is rare at CVMS.
“It was an isolated incident,” he claimed.