FREE SPEECH -- The Big Bear Grizzly reports that when her high school principal forced sophomore Mariah Jimenez to change out of the T-shirt she wore saying "Prop 8 Equals Hate" to school on the day before the November election, she got the ACLU involved and the district has now agreed to heed student speech rights.

Bear Valley Unified School District and the ACLU
agreed to a settlement to protect students’ rights to free speech, The
school district will update its speech and dress code to reflect the
rights of free expression and speech.

    
The
ACLU and the school district are jointly organizing a forum for
teachers and students on free-speech rights. The ACLU will provide
teacher training on California law governing nondiscrimination and
student speech.

    “We applaud the district for swiftly acting to
ensure that every student is guaranteed his or her constitutionally
protected right to free speech, especially on controversial political
matters,” said Peter Bibring, ACLU staff attorney. “The new policy
sends a strong message that the rights of students under California law
will be respected, while helping to clarify those rights for students
and educators.”