Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

In the Interest of Douglas D.

Juvenile Law Center co-authored an amicus brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court seeking to reverse the delinquency adjudication of an eighth-grade student (Douglas D.) who wrote a story for a creative writing assignment about an unhappy student who cut off his teacher’s head when she told him to shut up. The school suspended Douglas and also filed a delinquency petition against him for disorderly conduct. Juvenile Law Center’s brief challenged the one-size-fits all (“zero tolerance”) approach to student misbehavior.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, dismissing the adjudication and  concluding that Douglas’ speech was protected by the First Amendment.


626 N.W.2d 725
Case Number
Amicus Curiae
June 06, 2000
Wisconsin Supreme Court
State of Origin

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