ERIC Number: ED243215
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Student Press and Distribution Issues: Rights and Responsibilities.
Bartlett, Larry D.
Legal Memorandum, Apr 1984
This review analyzes case law in the area of student press and distribution and offers some guidelines for developing and implementing school policy and rules. Litigation is reviewed in order to clarify students' rights, limitations on administrative authority in matters of censorship and prior restraint, and actions in connection with writing and distributing publications for which students may be disciplined. It is recommended that school rules clearly state that students will not be punished for views they express in printed materials and that school officials attempt to persuade students to exercise tact and restraint in the exercise of their First Amendment rights. Rules requiring approval of student publications before distribution are not advised, for although the theoretical concept of prior restraint in the school setting has sometimes been upheld in court, specific instances usually have not. The policy of holding students accountable after printed materials have been distributed and for their actions, rather than for their words, is supported by case law. Students should be reminded that they have a legal responsibility to refrain from actions resulting in disruption of the educational environment or infringing on the rights of other students, and they should be held accountable when they breach it. (MJL)
Descriptors: Administrator Responsibility, Court Litigation, Discipline Policy, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Freedom of Speech, Public Schools, School Administration, School Law, School Newspapers, Student Behavior, Student Publications, Student Responsibility, Student Rights
Publications, National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091 ($1.00; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Tinker v Des Moines Independent School District