Briana Collier
Gabrielle Slay

799 F.Supp. 744 (1992)
Kelly E. DeNOOYER, by Next Friend Ilene DeNOOYER and Ilene DeNooyer, Plaintiffs,

v.

LIVONIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, et al., Defendants.
No. 91-72963.
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, S.D.
July 30, 1992.

Background:
During the 1990-1991 school year, a second grade student at McKinley Elementary School in the Livonia Public School District was not allowed to show a video tape of her singing a proselytizing song. Kelly DeNooper was told by her teacher, Mrs. Solomon that she could not show the tape for showing tale. Before Mrs. Solomon forbid the tape from being played, she conferred with Principal Van Poperin and he agreed that the tape should not be played. A letter was sent to DeNooper’s mother explaining the district’s decision. As a result DeNooper and her mother brought suit against the Livonia Public Schools and certain school officials.
Decision/Rationale:
The court decided that the religious message of the tape was a legitimate pedagogical concern. The court found that the school district’s restriction on DeNooper’s speech (video) was reasonable, regardless of whether permitting the speech would have violated the Establishment Clause. The court also ruled that the plaintiff’s failed to bring forth evidence to support their claim under the Free Exercise Clause. The court also sided with the defendants and said that the plaintiffs had no equal protection claim because the defendants articulated a rationale bias for their decisions. For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was denied and the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was granted.
Implications:
This case is important because it shows us that we should confer with administration before making a decision about a questionable presentation of something. Because the teacher went to administration and followed and upheld all the school’s and district’s rules, the court ruled in their favor. It is also important because it demonstrates that although students have their freedom of religion in schools, it does not mean that they can force their religion or beliefs on others in the school.
Quiz Question:
(T/F) A student always has the right of freedom of speech in schools.