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(en) US, MEDIA Anarchy cloob Banned at high school with Circuit Court Judge blessing

From Tom Wheeler <twbounds@pop.mail.rcn.net>
Date Thu, 1 Nov 2001 16:58:03 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Judge Rules on Student Anarchy Club

By MICHELLE SAXTON, Associated Press Writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A judge ruled Thursday that a 15-year-old sophomore
cannot form an anarchy club or wear T-shirts opposing the U.S. bombing of
Afghanistan because it would disrupt school.

Katie Sierra was suspended from Sissonville High School for three days for
promoting the club. She was also told she could not wear T-shirts with
messages such as: ``When I saw the dead and dying Afghani children on TV, I
felt a newly recovered sense of national security. God Bless America.''

In a complaint filed with her mother, Sierra argued her right to free speech
was being denied.

Circuit Court Judge James Stucky agreed that free speech is ``sacred'' but
he found that such rights are ``tempered by the limitations that they ...
not disrupt the educational process.''

Sierra said she'll pursue the dispute.

``I don't want war. I'm not for Afghanistan,'' Sierra said. ``I think that
what we're doing to them is just as bad as what they did to us, and I think
it needs to be stopped.''

James Withrow, lawyer for the Kanawha County Board of Education, argued that
an anarchy club was inappropriate because students ``do not feel that their
school is a safe place anymore.''

``Anarchy is the antithesis of what we believe should be in schools,''
Withrow said.

Sierra's attorney, Roger Forman, said she is ``being punished for expressing
her opinion.''

Thursday November 1 2:03 PM ET

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