ZERO TOLERANCE / FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
In January 2000, at
, Sarah Boman an honor roll student posted an artwork poem written in a spiral pattern on a classroom door. The poem, written from the point of view of a delusional person whose dog had been killed and who threatened to kill others, was an example of "repetitive art" required for an art college portfolio. She had often put up her artwork for her high school classmates to see. But before the day was out, she had been suspended and was soon expelled for the rest of the school year and told she needed a psychological examination before returning to school. School authorities said her poem was seen as a "threat." A federal district court ruled that her First Amendment rights were violated when she was expelled, and that the school was wrong to say she could only return if she underwent a psychiatric evaluation.