Patrick Stieve
Matthew Hotard
29 F.3d 1149 (1994)
Kurt R. WIEMERSLAGE, Through his natural guardian, Frank R. WIEMERSLAGE, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.MAINE TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 207, Board of Education of Maine Township High School District 207, James L. Elliott, Superintendent of Maine Township High School District 207, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
No. 93-2728.
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.
Argued February 23, 1994.
Decided July 15, 1994.

Background:
A student at Maine Township High School was suspended for three days, for violating a loitering rule that that prevented students from congregating at specific areas on school grounds Know as the “Hamlin Gate Area”. The kid was caught by the resource officer and cited right away for the infraction that took place after school. The School however had documented in a letter that was sent home to students prior to the incident stating the areas and the consequences for the new loitering rules. The student’s parents took legal action, saying the school violated their sons’ first amendment right.

Decision/Rational:
The parents first requested a meeting with the principal, they however were not happy with the results. They then filled a constitutional complaint in the states district court that was also dismissed. This confirms that the schools power to set limits and rules on their public grounds does not infringe on any of the students/staff of the school system. The appellant court did however find that the term used in the schools policy for defining the area known as “Hamlin Gate Area”; was unconstitutionally vague. The court saw that this still had no significance to the case at hand and threw it out.

Implication:
This case affirms that the public schools can legally set boundaries on when and where students are allowed on and around the school. The ability for school officials to have good public relations with the surrounding neighborhood is dependant on the conduct of the students. If students are unruly and disrespectful to the neighborhood resident’s prosperity, then the residents can and will demand changes within the school. Safety is the biggest concern in and around a school. If a school cannot ensure the safety of the students in and around the school, then the district will have to spend massive amounts of money in correcting the situation or in the building of a new school.

Test question:

What phrase did the appellate court agree with the council about, but since it was not written in the initial complaint it could not be addressed?

The phrase “Hamlin Gate area” was unconstitutionally vague but was not written in the initial complaint so the court could not address it.