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Bill 4683


                    Current Status

Bill Number:                      4683
Ratification Number:              473
Act Number:                       331
Type of Legislation:              General Bill GB
Introducing Body:                 House
Introduced Date:                  20020207
Primary Sponsor:                  Campsen
All Sponsors:                     Campsen and Barfield
Drafted Document Number:          l:\council\bills\pt\1752dw02.doc
Date Bill Passed both Bodies:     20020605
Date of Last Amendment:           20020529
Governor's Action:                S
Date of Governor's Action:        20020624
Subject:                          Student-Led Message Act, policy to permit 
                                  brief opening or closing message by student at 
                                  high school graduation or athletic event


                        History

Body    Date      Action Description                     Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  ______________________________________ _______ ____________
------  20020708  Act No. A331
------  20020624  Signed by Governor
------  20020606  Ratified R473
House   20020605  Concurred in Senate amendment, 
                  enrolled for ratification
Senate  20020530  Read third time, returned to House
                  with amendment
Senate  20020529  Made Special Order
Senate  20020529  Amended, read second time
Senate  20020522  Made Special Order
------  20020509  Scrivener's error corrected
Senate  20020508  Committee report: Favorable with       11 SJ
                  amendment
Senate  20020409  Introduced, read first time,           11 SJ
                  referred to Committee
------  20020408  Scrivener's error corrected
House   20020405  Read third time, sent to Senate
House   20020404  Read second time, unanimous consent
                  for third reading on the next
                  Legislative day
House   20020403  Amended, debate interrupted
House   20020402  Committee report: Favorable with       25 HJ
                  amendment
House   20020207  Introduced, read first time,           25 HJ
                  referred to Committee


              Versions of This Bill
Revised on April 2, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on April 3, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on April 4, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on April 8, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on May 8, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on May 9, 2002 - Word97 format
Revised on May 29, 2002 - Word97 format




(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A331, R473, H4683)

AN ACT TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA STUDENT-LED MESSAGE ACT"; TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-441 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING BODY OF A SCHOOL BOARD OR SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ADOPT A POLICY THAT PERMITS THE USE OF A BRIEF OPENING OR CLOSING MESSAGE BY A STUDENT AT A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION EXERCISE, TO PROVIDE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THIS MESSAGE MAY BE DELIVERED AND PROVIDE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION DO NOT APPLY TO CERTAIN POLICIES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT; AND BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-442 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING BODY OF A SCHOOL BOARD OR SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ADOPT A POLICY THAT PERMITS THE USE OF A BRIEF OPENING OR CLOSING MESSAGE BY A STUDENT AT A HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC EVENT AND TO PROVIDE THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THIS MESSAGE MAY BE DELIVERED.

Whereas, the State of South Carolina believes it appropriate for school boards and school districts to permit graduating students to participate in graduation ceremonies by offering short opening or closing student messages, or both, in order to promote student freedom of expression and afford them the opportunity to contribute to their graduation ceremonies; and

Whereas, the State of South Carolina believes it appropriate for school boards and school districts to permit students to participate in school athletic events by offering short opening or closing student messages, or both, in order to promote student freedom of expression and afford them the opportunity to contribute to school athletic events; and

Whereas, the State of South Carolina is neutral with respect to the content of the student messages delivered, and requires the same neutrality of school boards and school districts acting under this bill; and

Whereas, the State of South Carolina recognizes that "government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in any way which 'establishes a [state] religion,'" see Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 587 (1992) (citation omitted), and does not intend by this bill to encourage or discourage religious, nonreligious, or anti-religious expression; and

Whereas, the General Assembly forbids school boards and school districts acting under this bill to recommend, monitor, review, or censor opening or closing student messages, accord Adler v. Duval Cty. Sch. Bd., 250 F.3d 1330, 1336-37 (11th Cir. 2001); and

Whereas, this bill does not signify the General Assembly's sense of the limits of constitutional law nor preempt school boards and school districts from exercising a constitutional right to permit more expansive student speech at school events, but represents a "safe harbor" which the State of South Carolina will defend. Now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Citation of act

SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the "South Carolina Student-Led Messages Act".

Policy to permit student to deliver message

SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 59-1-441. (A) The governing body of a school board or school district may adopt a policy that permits graduating high school students as selected by school policy using objective criteria such as academic standing or the ex-officio function of a student office or position, to deliver a brief opening or closing message, or both, of two minutes or less, at the high school's graduation exercises.

(B) If a student delivers a brief opening or closing message, or both, of two minutes or less, the content of that message must be prepared or selected by the student and may not be recommended, monitored, reviewed, or censored by a member of the governing body of the school district, its officers, or employees. No student may be disciplined or reprimanded by the school for the content of any nonobscene, nonprofane, or nonvulgar message delivered pursuant to this section.

(C) The provisions of this section do not apply to policies of the school district or high school that relate specifically to more lengthy, extensive, or featured speeches at the high school's graduation delivered by a class valedictorian or other student selected on bases such as academic standing or position in student government."

Policy to permit opening or closing message at school-sponsored athletic events

SECTION 3. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 59-1-442. (A) The governing body of a school board or school district may adopt a policy that permits either (1) the captains of athletic teams at a high school or their student designees; or (2) a student designated by the members of that team to deliver a brief opening or closing message, or both, of two minutes or less, at school-sponsored athletic events.

(B) If team captains, their student designees, or the student designees of athletic teams deliver a brief opening or closing message, or both, of two minutes or less, the content of that message must be prepared or selected by the student and may not be recommended, monitored, reviewed, or censored by a member of the governing body of the school district, its officers, or employees. No student may be disciplined or reprimanded by the school for the content of any nonobscene, nonprofane, or nonvulgar message delivered pursuant to this section."

Severability clause

SECTION 4. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

Time effective

SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Ratified the 6th day of June, 2002.

Approved the 24th day of June, 2002.

__________


This web page was last updated on Tuesday, October 1, 2002 at 12:09 P.M.