June 26, 2017

Watch the story of J.P. Krause

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

Thanks to the Vero Beach Press-Journal editorial board for publishing a very nice editorial on Sunday in support of Pacific Legal Foundation and PLF client J.P. Krause. From the editorial:

Krause and his parents knew how unfairly he’d been treated [when he was disqualified from his senior class presidency] and called Laurence Reisman, a TCPalm columnist. Reisman’s May 19 column supporting Krause’s free-speech rights popped up on Mark Miller’s news feed. Miller, a Martin County resident and senior attorney in the nonprofit Pacific Legal Foundation’s West Palm Beach office, read it and was incensed.

“Incensed”— yeah, you could say that. After reading the column, I contacted J.P. and his family, took on their constitutional case at no charge, and the rest is history. J.P. is back where he belongs: President of his Vero Beach High School senior class for 2017-18. For a nice summary of this First Amendment battle and win for the constitutional rights of high school students, you can watch our new video 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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