Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2292809
 


 



Gay Talk: Protecting Free Speech for Public School Teachers


Stephen J. Elkind


New York University School of Law

Peter Kauffman


New York University School of Law

July 21, 2013

Journal of Law and Education, April 2014

Abstract:     
In Garcetti v. Ceballos, the Supreme Court held that public employees are not entitled to free speech when speaking “pursuant to their official duties.” In most situations, this strips teachers of First Amendment protection when they discuss controversial subjects, such as homosexuality, with their students. To ensure their classrooms are tolerant and accepting environments for homosexual and questioning youth, teachers need free speech protection against adverse employment action their schools might take. The Garcetti Court, acknowledging that “expression related to academic scholarship and classroom instruction implicates” unique constitutional concerns, explicitly left open whether its decision applied in the education context. Due to the harms restricting teachers’ speech about homosexuality can cause students, not to mention community members and the teachers themselves, this paper argues that when the Supreme Court revisits the question it left open in Garcetti, it should create an exception for both university professors and public school teachers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: Garcetti, First Amendment, Constitional Law, Education, Gay, LGBT, Teacher

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Date posted: July 21, 2013 ; Last revised: August 21, 2013

Suggested Citation

Elkind, Stephen J. and Kauffman, Peter, Gay Talk: Protecting Free Speech for Public School Teachers (July 21, 2013). Journal of Law and Education, April 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2292809 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2292809

Contact Information

Stephen J. Elkind (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
Peter Kauffman
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
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