It looks like free speech may win out after all. Just brilliant how such a ridiculous example went all the way to SCotUS and will now, in a sense, become a banner case (sorry, had to) for free speech.
From the Reuters article:
In its first major student free-speech rights case in almost 20 years, U.S. Supreme Court justices struggled on Monday with how far schools can go in censoring students.
In a case involving a Juneau, Alaska, high school student suspended for unfurling a banner that read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus,” several justices seemed wary about giving a principal too much authority at the expense of the student’s right to express his views.
“It’s political speech, it seems to me. I don’t see what it disrupts,” a skeptical Justice David Souter said.
“And no one was smoking pot in that crowd,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, referring to the group of students standing near the banner as the Winter Olympic torch relay passed by in January 2002.