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Morse v. Frederick

This First Amendment activity is based on the landmark Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick dealing with controversial student speech at a school function. Apply the precedent to this updated, relatable scenario in which a school principal confiscates a student banner that could be interpreted as promoting illegal activity at a pre-game rally.

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How to Use These Resources

This activity is a modified Oxford style debate.

  1. To get started, have participants read the Morse v. Frederick facts and case summary and the fictional scenario.
  2. Assign student attorneys to the issues listed in the talking points. They are suggested points– not a script–for the debate. Student attorneys are encouraged to add their own arguments.
  3. All other students are jurors who deliberate (and may refer to these talking points) during the open floor debate. They debate among themselves in the large group or smaller groups and come to a verdict after the attorneys present closing arguments.