Massachusetts university and high school officials said yesterday that Monday's Supreme Court ruling on distributing sexually offensive material will have little impact in this state.
By a six to three vote, the Court ordered the University of Missouri to reinstate a student who had been expelled for distributing a newspaper containing an obscenity in a headline and a cartoon depicting the rape of justice by patrolmen.
The majority held that the student could not be expelled because the cartoon and headline were not "constitutionally obscene." The Court stated: "The First Amendment leaves no room for the operation of dual standards in an academic community with respect to speech."
A spokesman for the State university system explained that the ruling will have a minimal effect here because there is no censorship on Massachusetts campuses.
John Lerner, a spokesman for UMass at Boston, however, said yesterday that faculty or students could take the distribution of offensive material to one of the university's committees on discipline.
William D. Geer, principal of Newton South High School, said yesterday that the ruling would not apply to the school because almost all the students are under 18 and the school acts "in loco parentis."
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