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To those who talk and write as much as I do, the First Amendment is almost as sacred as any religious document. As Americans, our right to opine about governmental actions and question the conduct of those on the public payroll is deeply ingrained.
Freedom of speech is a right we teach our children, recognizing that young folks often have a way of expression different than our own. Civility, tolerance, and respect are also good concepts to teach the young, along with their right to be different and to hold unpopular beliefs.
All this came to mind as I read about a school district's attempt to punish a high school student for Internet speech authored at his home and distributed to his friends via e-mail. Fortunately for free speech advocates, former Chief Judge …