Court upholds decision to bar student from becoming teacher beca - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Court upholds decision to bar student from becoming teacher because of his views

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By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal appeals court ruling says the University of Hawaii didn't violate the First Amendment when it denied a teaching certificate for a Caltech-educated aspiring high school teacher who expressed views condoning adults having sex with minors.

A panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges said Tuesday that Mark Oyama's comments were relevant in determining whether he should be allowed to work as a public school teacher. According to the ruling, Oyama made other comments his professors found concerning, such as disabled students being "fakers."

Oyama's attorney, Eric Seitz, says the ruling is troubling because it allows the university to censor someone's opinions that aren't acted upon.

Oyama has a bachelor's degree in math from the California Institute of Technology and a master's degree in physics from the University of Hawaii.

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