R.O., et al. v. Ithaca City Sch. Dist.
Plaintiffs, former students of Ithaca High School, claimed that defendants violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by prohibiting the publication of a sexually-explicit cartoon in the Ithaca High School student newspaper ("IHS newspaper") and by prohibiting the on-campus distribution of an independent student newspaper containing the same cartoon. At issue was whether the district court erred in holding that the IHS newspaper was a limited public forum. The court concluded that the IHS newspaper was a limited public form and held that defendants lawfully prohibited the publication of the sexually-explicit cartoon pursuant to the standards for regulation of speech set forth in Bethel School District Number 403 v. Fraser and Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. The court also held that defendants lawfully prohibited the on-campus distribution of the sexually-explicit cartoon in an independent student newspaper pursuant to Fraser and that the court need not reach the question of whether defendants' prohibition of the on-campus distribution of the independent student newspaper was lawful under Tinker v. DesMoines Indep. Cmty. Scho. Dist.