Beyond the Schoolhouse Gate: Do Student First Amendment Rights Apply to Classroom Assignments?
Western New England University School of Law
April 21, 2007
Fifth Commonwealth Education Law Conference: Critical Issues In Education Law and Policy, p. 89, 2007
While it has long been apparent that the First Amendment protection for freedom of expression limits the discretion of public school teachers and administrators, it has been assumed that those limitations do not constrain equally all aspects of a school's operation. One area that has seemed somewhat immune from First Amendment free speech oversight has been the pedagogic choices made by schools in defining their own educational objectives. Public schools have been permitted to select curricular materials for use in their classrooms and have been able to evaluate whether students have fulfilled course requirements without concern that they may be violating the free speech rights of their students. The cases discussed raise issues about the possibility of First Amendment review of school assignments that schools will ignore at their peril.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: first amendment, public schools, classroom asignments, free speech, constitutional law, education law
Date posted: December 15, 2011 ; Last revised: December 28, 2011