In his “free-speech experiment” five years ago, senior Joseph Frederick displayed a large banner outside his school in Juneau, Alaska, with the message, “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” Frederick’s banner was quickly confiscated by his high school principal, and he was suspended for 10 days. In response, Frederick took his school all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday, the court ruled against Frederick, finding that schools “may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use.” Frederick, who is now 23 and living in China, sought damages from his high school principal, arguing that his free-speech rights, protected under the First Amendment, had been violated.

AFP via

Frederick was 18 when he displayed his huge banner just outside the school grounds at Juneau, Alaska in front of television cameras as the Olympic flame passed in front of a crowd.

Principal Deborah Morse was not amused by Frederick’s linkage between Jesus and a bong, a pipe used to smoke marijuana. She took away the banner and suspended Frederick from school for 10 days.

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