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D.B. v. Barberton City School District

Case Conclusion Date: 03.12.2012

Practice Area: Education

Outcome: Student reinstated at the school

Description: Student Expulsion Hearing. Student accused of making threats based upon hand drawn map of school found in locker. Wrining on the map was in Nordic Rune characters. Poetry, composed by student was found by school administrators to be "dark and disturbing". This author argued that all speech cited by school was protected speech and did not state any target or victim, conditional or otherwise. In support this author cited the "true threat" reasonable recipient, five-part test developed by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit in United States v. Dinwiddle (76 F.3d 913, 925). That test is: 1. the reaction of those who heard the alleged threat 2. whether the threat was conditional 3. whether the person who made the threat communicated it directly to the object of the threat 4. whether the speaker had a history of making threats against the person purportedly threatened 5. whether the recipient had a reason to believe that the speaker had a propensity to engage in violence The test was later adopted by the U.S.C.A. 6th Circuit (which covers Ohio) United States v. Miller, 115 F.3d 361, 363 (6th Cir. 1997).

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