Calif. First Grader Punished by School, Court for Questioning ‘Black Lives Matter’


(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) A California family is suing over a violation of free-speech rights after a first-grade child was punished by her public school system for appearing to second-guess the Black Lives Matter movement, the Daily Wire reported.

The child, referred to as “B.B.” in legal documents from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California’s Southern Division, completed a drawing for a friend at school that said, “Black Lives Mater [sic],” but included the addendum, “any life” following the main message.

She drew the sketch and gave it to another child, referred to as M.C., a black girl, who gave it to her mother. Her mother then instigated the investigation into a first grade girl’s alleged racism.

Finding the addendum to her message particularly offensive, the school, a part of Capistrano Unified School District, banished B.B. from playing during recess for two weeks.

The child’s mother, in turn, sued the school, arguing that her First Amendment rights were violated. The district court ruled, however, that educators had a right to restrict that freedom, particularly among minors.

The judge said that schools must be granted a “substantial deference” in their determinations as to “what speech is appropriate.”

According to the court, the First Amendment’s protections must always be “applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment.”

But, moving out of abstract reasoning, the court also commented on the content of the drawing, suggesting that, because “younger students may be more sensitive than older students,” their “educational experience may be more affected when they receive messages based on a protected characteristic.”

The court assumed, despite B.B.’s testimony that she wanted to help M.C., that she meant to create “insults” that could lead to a “racially insensitive” bullying scenario among the entire class.

Some in the legal profession questioned the court’s ruling.

According to Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California Los Angeles, the court treated BLM as a sort of national religion in its ruling.

“The ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogan is accepted as the one orthodoxy, and any perceived dissent from the view that black lives should be specially stressed in this context can be forbidden,” he wrote.