Washington Law Review


In LaVine v. Blaine School District, the Ninth Circuit allowed a school to expel a student for writing a poem about a school shooting. The court held that the school did not violate the student's First Amendment rights because the school could reasonably forecast that the student would cause a substantial disruption or material interference with school activities. This Note argues that the LaVine court incorrectly applied the established standards for evaluating the constitutionality of a school's decision to expel a student. The LaVine court also unwisely extended the Tinker doctrine to a new area of student speech. In doing so, the court departed from U.S. Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent and failed to provide lower courts and schools with a clear framework for evaluating student speech believed to be a threat of violence.

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