Do Elementary School Kids Have First Amendment Rights

05.24.11 | Sarah Harnisch

  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in a free speech lawsuit known as the "Candy Cane" case.  The outcome of this case will likely determine whether the first amendment applies to elementary students or whether they are too young to enjoy the freedoms given in the Constitution. The Liberty Institute is representing several students and their parents in Plano, Texas. Among the plaintiffs is a young boy who was singled out and banned from handing out candy cane pens with a religious message at his class winter party,  a little girl who was threatened for handing out tickets after school to a religious play, and an entire class of kids who were forbidden from writing "Merry Christmas" on holiday cards to troops overseas. On appeal, government officials are now arguing that elementary students are too young to have First Amendment rights.