Brechner Research Paper on School Disruption Laws is Focus of Crime Report Article
A research paper co-authored by Frank LoMonte, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Brechner Center for Freedom of Information director, is referenced in “Does Criminalizing ‘Disruption’ in Schools Violate Free Speech” published in The Crime Report on Aug. 24.
The article focuses on the questionable constitutionality of laws that make it a crime to speak “disruptively” on school premises or at school functions, without defining “disruption,” which leaves kids vulnerable to the whims of school police.
In their research paper, LoMonte and UF law student and Brechner research assistant Anne Marie Tamburo, examined Masters v. Kentucky. The appellate case dismissed a First Amendment challenge to an open-ended “school disruption” statue. They are argued that Kentucky and other states have statutes that expose students to criminal penalties based on a threshold lower than what the First Amendment requires to validate even a minor disciplinary sanction.
“If the reasoning of Masters were to take hold elsewhere, it would be nearly impossible for speakers to bring successful constitutional challenges against school-disturbance laws,” said LoMonte and Tamburro.