Quarterfinals

Knocked out of moot court competition after quarterfinals. This has been such a lesson in communication. We had been doing so great until we — universal — completely changed the argument around in that last round.

We found out afterwards that the brief was worth 33% throughout the entire competition, and we omitted — purposefully, frustratingly enough — a glaring, critical piece of precedent in our brief. Grr. You’d think if there’s one thing I’d be good at after growing up working in bars it would be forceful communication when my colleagues trample on my opinion. It’s just so irritating (and geometric for the identity issues I’ve been having lately) that my crisis of confidence actually resulted in my trusting my teammate even as he contradicted my argument, ultimately costing us the competition.

Blargh.

If Ms. Jacobs had told Corey that his brochures violated Marketplace regulations because he edited them after they had gone through the approval process, then maybe the censorship would have been justified. A prohibition couched in nothing other than Ms. Jacobs’s apprehension of disagreement with the students’ message, however, is expressly prohibited by Tinker.

Ms. Jacobs may also have argued that her censorship served a compelling state interest. This Court’s case law suggests that, in some instances, schools may require their students to violate religious convictions as a condition of attending a state university. Hamilton v. Regents of University of California, 293 U.S. 245 (1934). But Ms. Jacobs does not adopt this argument either.

Instead, Ms. Jacobs simply maintains that her prohibition was reasonable. Yet under the all of the standards created by this Court, Ms. Jacobs’s position was not reasonable. No disruption, confusion, or insult triggered her reaction to the brochures. In a rapidly-diversifying community, it is devastating to future social integration for elementary school leaders to enact such reactionary prohibitions on speech culturally or religiously relevant to a given demographic.

If students are taught at school to suppress the values they learn at home, society will be severely damaged. Furthermore, if schools teach students that they may not celebrate their values because other people do not share their beliefs, citizens in diverse communities will quickly grow alienated. To teach impressionable students that diversity is bad and expression is dangerous will fundamentally change the society protected by the United States Constitution.

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