hip hop music

August 4, 2005

ACLU Defends High School Battle Rap

Seems to me the only thing this kid is guilty of is not knowing how to play chess.. "You're a rook, I'm the king"? Not quite the threat that you think it is, dunny.

ACLU sues over student's freedom to rap

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued a school district on behalf of a 14-year-old rap music fan who was expelled after he posted lyrics on the Internet in which, according to police, he threatened to shoot up his school and named a potential victim.

The ACLU said the songs by Anthony Latour, of Ellwood City, are protected speech, among other reasons, because they were composed at home and not brought to school. The suit says Latour's expulsion in May from the Riverside Beaver County School District violated his parents' right to control his upbringing.

"The school may not like Anthony's songs, but it is beyond their ability to dictate what he reads, writes or even raps at home," said Witold "Vic" Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania's legal director. Latour was expelled for the remainder of the last school year and this coming year. The lawsuit seeks to have Latour admitted to school when classes resume Aug. 31...

...Latour was removed from class in April by North Sewickley Township police and charged with making terroristic threats and harassment because of lyrics he posted on the Internet...

But Walczak said school officials erred because Latour's lyrics - though violent and profane - weren't meant to be threats and didn't cause any disruption at school.

The alleged victim told school officials the lyrics Latour e-mailed to him were part of a "battle rap" challenge - one in which rival rappers try to out-rhyme one another.

One line of that song says: "You're a rook, I'm the king, and I'm cookin ya quick / I'm lookin to stab, don't even look for the strap..."

...Walczak contends such violent language is known to be metaphoric in rap circles, and that the school had played another rap song that Latour wrote and recorded in his home at a school dance in December...

Posted by jsmooth995 at August 4, 2005 11:20 AM

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