The ACLU, Student Press Law Center and a law firm have submitted a “friend of the court” brief with the California Court of Appeal in support of a high school journalism student who sued the Novato Unified School District in 2002 for censoring editorials he wrote about immigration and reverse racism. The articles were originally approved by the school principal, but after publication school officials confiscated copies of newspaper and said the editorials violated school policy after other students and parents complained about the content of the articles. The student, Andrew Smith (now a U.S. Marine), sued the school district. The Superior Court issued a ruling against him. Smith is now appealing that ruling. Christine P. Sun, attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, said the ruling, if not reversed, will almost certainly chill future speech by sending the message that school officials can prevent or punish students for publishing certain views. [Chronicle, May 3, 2002: Censorship suit at Novato High; Racial writings stifled student says] [AP, May 6, 2002: High school journalist sues school for blocking controversial editorial] [Student Press Law Center Press Release, Aug. 23, 2006: SPLC files brief in California censorship case]

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