Here's an interesting piece of news I found today: Student charged for writing violent essay Apparently a student wrote a violent essay for a creating writing assignment, and he's being criminally charged. The maximum jail time is 30 days. I'm no legal expert, but I'm quite surprised to hear this. The article doesn't mention any threat directed at a particular individual or organization (though he did possibly make an indirect threat). Is it legal to criminally charge him for writing this? After all, many modern musicians write lyrics that are far worse, and they are protected under free speech laws. I don't take any particular position on whether or not it's right to charge this guy, but if anyone knows, I'd honestly be interested to know more about the legal aspects of this. What boundaries are there on free speech, and why do they seem to be more restrictive for high school students?