ERIC Number: ED351716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Federal Courts and Educational Policy: Paternalism, Political Correctness and Student Expression.
The focus of this paper is the extent to which the judiciary sets the tone for freedom of speech in educational environment, and in so doing, helps define educational institutions themselves. In particular, the paper examines what the federal courts have said about the roles and obligations of educators when dealing with the rights of public school and college students. The paper uses the current controversy regarding politically correct speech to contrast the federal judiciary's different approaches to free speech cases at the high school and college level, both in landmark cases and in recent rulings from the United States Supreme Court and from lower courts. It focuses attention on the educational philosophy reflected in the federal court decisions. The paper begins with significant pre-1980 high school cases, then looks at cases that set the tone for free expression in colleges during the same period, showing that these early cases defined both schools and colleges as educational environments meant to foster student participation in a democratic society. The paper then examines cases since 1980 that define high schools and colleges as fundamentally different in purpose, with a focus on protection of students' expressive rights in college cases and the emphasis on assigning regulatory discretion to school officials in high school cases. The paper concludes with a discussion of free speech implications of current judicial philosophy. Seventy-three endnotes are included. (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Educational Issues; Political Correctness; Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (75th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 5-8, 1992).