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First Amendment Library:
William A. Coats


A public high school student delivered a speech at a school assembly nominating another student for a student office. During the speech, he referred to his candidate using a graphic and explicit sexual metaphor. The auditorium contained approximately 600 students, including 14-year-old students. Some of the students enjoyed the speech, while others appeared embarrassed. Prior to the assembly, several teachers warned the student against giving the speech because of the inappropriate content.