ND Supreme Court says racial slur not free speech

North Dakota's Supreme Court ruled a white girl who used racial slurs to taunt a black classmate isn't protected by the U.S. Constitution's free speech guarantees.

A juvenile court judge ruled the 14-year-old, who is white, had committed disorderly conduct when she used a slur against the 17-year-old African-American girl.

The confrontations occurred last February in a bathroom during a Valley City school dance, and later at a local pizza parlor. An attorney for the 14-year-old girl argued her client was within her free-speech rights by using the slur.

But the Supreme Court ruled her statements were "fighting words" intended to provoke a violent reaction, and they weren't protected by the First Amendment.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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