BONG HiTS 4 JESUS
A Perfect Constitutional Storm in Alaska's Capital
Format: Paper and electronic
In January 2002, for the first time, the Olympic Torch Relay visited Alaska on its way to the Winter Games. When the relay runner and accompanying camera cars passed Juneau-Douglas High School, senior Joseph Frederick and several friends unfurled a fourteen-foot banner reading “BONG HiTS 4 JESUS.”
An in-depth look at student rights within a public high school, this book chronicles the events that followed: Frederick’s suspension, the subsequent suit against the school district, and, ultimately, the escalation of a local conflict into a federal case. Brought to life through interviews with the principal figures in the case, BONG HiTS 4 JESUS is a gripping tale of the boundaries of free speech in an American high school.
>By following one case very closely over a long time [Foster] finds opportunities
to discuss a variety of issues involved in constitutional litigation. . . . This is
an interesting analysis that clearly reveals there is more to the law than the pronouncement
of high courts.
—Law & Politics Review
Dangerous, disruptive unprotected speech or a sophomoric grab for TV face time? Foster’s
fascinating and comprehensive book about Morse v. Frederick...walks readers through
every stage of a case that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court establishing a “messy
precedent” that may deeply affect First Amendment speech rights for years to come.
Sensitive in its portrayal of both students’ rights and school authority, BONG HiTS 4 JESUS...considers whether this recalibration of student speech rights is a major retreat.
—Jill Norgren, Professor Emerita, The City University of New York
An appealing synthesis of first-person interviews, historical and doctrinal analysis,
and political science research on judicial politics, the book examines the case from
multiple perspectives as a vehicle for critical understanding of the Supreme Court's
—S. B. Lichtman, Shippensburg University, Choice, May 2011