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FIRST OFF . . .

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by a Kentucky public high school teacher, Jacqueline Fowler, who was fired in 1984 for insubordination and conduct unbecoming a teacher after she screened “Pink Floyd--The Wall,” the rock group’s R-rated movie about personal alienation and a repressive educational system. Fowler rented a videocassette of the movie to show on the last day of the school year, after her students--aged 14-17--asked to see the film. “Wall,” contained some nudity but also dealt with social issues of importance, Fowler’s attorney argued in court. A federal judge ruled that the firing violated Fowler’s First Amendment rights of free expression, ordered her reinstated and said she should be paid $10,000 for emotional distress. But a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the trial judge and upheld the firing. The Supreme Court justices, without comment, let stand the ruling that Fowler’s free-expression rights were not violated.


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