ERIC Number: ED029387
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Apr
Reference Count: 0
School Boards and the U.S. Constitution.
Hollister, Charles A.
As public agencies created by State legislative mandate, school districts and the officers thereof are obligated to abide by several provisions of the United States Constitution. School boards can reduce many of the sources of current student unrest by complying with these provisions. Courts have held that under the Fourteenth Amendment school officials are obligated to provide due process of law and equal protection of the law to their patrons. These provisions strictly prohibit capricious, arbitrary, or unreasonable rule making and discrimination based on race, color, or economic position. Under the First Amendment the guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion require school officials to recognize the student's right to speak without prior restraint, subject to penalties for abuse of that right, and requires these officials to maintain a neutral position towards religions. School officials seeking to operate their school system in a lawful, peaceful, and productive manner should be aware that as agents of the State they are subject to constitutional restraints on their authority. Such an awareness should limit the potential for turmoil stemming from decisions affecting the civil liberties of students. (JH)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Activism, Behavior, Board of Education Policy, Censorship, Civil Rights, Constitutional History, Court Litigation, Discipline Policy, Equal Education, Freedom of Speech, Legal Responsibility, Public Officials, School District Autonomy, School Policy, State Church Separation, State Legislation
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bill of Rights; First Amendment; Fourteenth Amendment; Tinker v Des Moines Independent School District
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Session of the National School Boards Assn. (29th, Miami Beach, Florida, April 1969)