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First Amendment Library:
William E. Collins


Appellant Richard Grayned was convicted for his part in a demonstration in front of West Senior High School in Rockford, Illinois. On April 25, 1969, approximately 200 people—students, their family members, and friends—gathered next to the school grounds. Grayned, whose brother and twin sisters attended the school, was part of this group. The demonstrators marched around on a sidewalk about 100 feet from the school building. Many carried signs that summarized the grievances: “Black cheerleaders to cheer too”; “Black history with black teachers”; “Equal rights, Negro counselors.” After warning the demonstrators, the police arrested 40 of them, including Grayned. Grayned was tried and convicted of violating Rockford’s “anti-picketing” ordinance and “anti-noise” ordinance. A $25 fine was imposed for each violation.