"A lot of people don't realize how dramatically Hazelwood changed the landscape for student expression," said Goodman. "You look at a lot of high school journalism programs today, and what you see is more akin to journalism as it is practiced in China than in the U.S."
Lawyers in the Frederick case said most schools are willing to work with students before sanctioning outright censorship. They say Frederick could have avoided suspension when Morse asked him to meet in her office after the parade, but he failed to show up.
Mary Beth Tinker, whose black armband now sits behind glass in the First Amendment Museum in Chicago, insists Morse v. Frederick is more than a referendum on drugs.
"Research has shown that what keeps kids healthy and in school is an atmosphere of democracy and involvement," said Tinker, who now visits high schools to talk to students about her own Supreme Court challenge.
"Columbine started a wave of feeling that kids needed to be controlled and they were somehow a dangerous group of people to be feared," Tinker said. "Kids need to be able to express themselves because in a democracy, the ones who are affected should have a voice."