June 10, 2017

ICYMI: Fox & Friends welcomed PLF client J.P. Krause

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

On Sunday morning, the Fox and Friends Weekend morning show on the Fox News Channel welcomed PLF client J.P. Krause, a rising senior at Vero Beach High School, as their guest. J.P., the young man who should serve as Vero Beach’s senior class president in the coming school year, will be on the show to discuss his high school’s controversial and unconstitutional decision to disqualify him from the class presidency after he won the election.

J.P.’s high school administration disqualified him after he won the race because he gave a First-Amendment protected, humorous campaign speech in his A.P. U.S. History classroom the day before the school held the election. You can see his 90-second speech here. J.P. said nothing worthy of a punishment; to the contrary, he engaged in pure political speech that the First Amendment protects. This public school could not lawfully punish him for the speech and the administrators’ decision to do so violates J.P.’s constitutional rights. You can read all about the situation here on our blog, or here and here in two excellent columns written by local TCPalm news columnist Larry Reisman, and you can watch a local television report about the case here.

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Krause v. School Board of Indian River County, Florida

In May of his junior year at Vero Beach High School, J.P. Krause was on the verge of winning the senior class president election when he gave an impromptu campaign speech in his AP U.S. History class, with his teacher’s permission. The 90-second humorous speech skewered some of the tropes of the Trump campaign – “my opponent will raise taxes!” – and contained other satirical remarks. Krause won the election, but then his principal disqualified him from taking office because his speech allegedly “humiliated” the second-place finisher, in violation of the district’s anti-harassment policy. When PLF, representing J.P. and his mother, informed the school district by letter that its actions violated the First Amendment, the district quickly reversed course and reinstated J.P. as senior class president.

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