HONOLULU – A federal appeals court 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.
In a ruling Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said 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.