Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser

Jesse Almanza and Jabier Anaya

This case against Matthew Fraser a senior at Bethel High School in Bethel, Washington   took place in 1986. the argument of this case started in court on march 3, 1986. Matthew Fraser case was started when Fraser was giving a speech in a public school assembly to nominate one of his fellow students for a student elective office. It was a voluntary assembly and around 600 students that were around the age 14 attended. During his entire speech Fraser had used elaborate, graphic, and explicit sexual metaphors to describe his fellow student that he was nominating to be apart of the student elective office . Some students yelled going along with Fraser’s speech well some mimicked the sexual content of the speech and then some were just embarrassed. The issue this brought up in court is Does the First Amendment prevent a school district from disciplining Fraser or any high school student for giving a bad speech at a high school assembly? The first amendment is not taken away by the school such as the “Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School Board” case had proven before ,But since the Fraser case is not the same case as the  “Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School Board”. The Bethel School District vs Fraser case had proved that the discipline of Fraser was right because it was a speech out of lewdness unlike the “Tinker” case which was a protest. They had found that it was out of a unmannerly cause to elect his friend which is different from the “tinker” case. This did not happen in the “Tinker” case because it was a protest for something outside of the school and that had been brought in. The impact that the decision had made was that the court had to re-examine the first amendment in the school and that certain limits on expression are permitted by the First Amendment.