A lower court ruling that upheld the Texas School Board of Education's rejection of an environmental textbook it found too "anti-Christian and anti-free enterprise" could have damaging implication for free speech in schools, according to the Student Press Law Center, an outfit that assists student newspapers. The SPLC, which has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in an appeal to the 5th Curcuit, warned that the district court set a dangerous precedent by ruling that "a different standard should apply to school-sponsored speech." From the brief:
The decision potentially throws open the doors to widespread censorship and intimidation of student speech and press whenever school officials disagree with the opinions of students expressed therein. This sweeping elimination of the viewpoint neutrality doctrine will allow school officials to exclude any student expression that varies from "approved" viewpoints on such issues as the environment, government policy, business, the economy and politics.