Man Loses Free-Speech Tiff With School Board

     RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – A citizen does not have the right to use a school board’s communication outlets to voice his opposition to the board’s political opinions, the 4th Circuit ruled.

     Randall Page sued Lexington County School District One after the board would not publicize his support of the Put Parents in Charge tax credit bill, which the South Carolina legislature was considering.
     The school board used its Web site and e-mail to urge citizens to oppose the bill.
     The district court ruled that Page’s First Amendment rights were not violated, and Judge Niemeyer agreed.
     The government cannot abridge free speech, but it does not need to limit its own, Niemeyer ruled.
     “Government speech is accountable to the electorate and the political process for his advocacy,” the judge wrote.
     Niemeyer also rejected Page’s assertion that the use of links on the school’s Web site created a limited public forum, to which he was denied access.

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