Tuesday, May 26th

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A middle school student who helped a friend draw a picture of a cartoon bomb should not have been convicted of making a terrorist threat, an appeals court judge has ruled.

The boy, identified in court records only as A.N.G., was found delinquent on two counts in Waupaca County — disorderly conduct and making a terrorist threat, a felony — as a party to a crime.

This week, Court of Appeals Judge Brian Blanchard ordered both adjudications vacated and the delinquency petition dismissed. 

The boy's "private drawing was not a true threat in the constitutional sense," Blanchard found, but rather the kind of expression protected by the First Amendment.

"First Amendment protection is so strong that it applies no matter how 'offensive' or 'distasteful' a threatening type of communication might be, so long as it is not a true threat," he wrote.

According to the decision:

During a summer school class in 2018, A.N.G.