The justices ruled 6-3 that Frederick's free speech rights were not violated by his suspension over what the majority's written opinion called a "sophomoric" banner.
"It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use-- and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court's majority. (Opinion)
In dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "This case began with a silly nonsensical banner, (and) ends with the court inventing out of whole cloth a special First Amendment rule permitting the censorship of any student speech that mentions drugs, so long as someone could perceive that speech to contain a latent pro-drug message."
He was backed by Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It's a sad day for bong-toking students everywhere. When I was in junior high, someone had spraypainted "DO BONGS" in giant letters on a water tower that we passed every day on the school bus. It's a simple, straightforward message that Chief Justice John Roberts would be wise to follow.