ERIC Number: ED169648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Speech and Expression Outside the Classroom as Elements of a School Board's Determination of Teaching Fitness: A Case Study of a Gay Activist.
Rizzi, Joseph A.; Jacobs, Robert M.
Via a case study, this paper explores the legal question of whether a local school board's inquiry into the fitness of its teachers can extend outside the classroom. This issue is discussed within the framework of two divergent views concerning the absolute nature of First Amendment rights on the one hand and a compelling state interest that may justify the invasion or inhibition of such rights on the other hand. Details of Gish v. Board of Education of Borough of Paramus are discussed in terms of the facts and statutory background of the case, actions of the board and constitutional challenge of the statute, applications of constitutional principles, and subsequent legal proceedings. Also discussed are the concepts of sexual expression and the fitness of a teacher. The paper concludes that two lessons are implicit in every judicial decision presented. First, no question exists as to the absolute obligation and right of a local board to determine the fitness of its teachers to continue to be in contact with school children. Second, the scope of legitimate board inquiry into a teacher's fitness must extend to any form of a teacher's conduct that may adversely affect his or her efficient performance of public services. (Author/LD)
Descriptors: Board of Education Role, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Freedom of Speech, Homosexuality, Teacher Qualifications
Not available separately; See EA 011 530
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.