ERIC Number: ED248590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
America's Public Classrooms: The Courts and Radical In-Class Utterances.
Stevenson, James A.
America's legal-educational history is filled with scores of cases of alleged radical teachers who have been legally excluded or removed from public school positions. Only a few of these cases have involved the First Amendment issue of inclass utterances by radicals. Such cases are significant because they highlight the established society's attitude toward free speech and antithetical sociopolitical views. Until recently that attitude could be characterized as primarily repressive. Even now there is no guarantee that the tolerant attitude and opinions expressed in "Keyishian vs. Board of Regents" and "Communist Party of Indiana vs. Whitcomb" will not be reversed. Indeed, because the courts reflect as much as they shape the trends of the times, the history of United States judicial decisions suggests that such attitudes might be reversed at any moment. Certainly, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's concept of "clear and present danger" enables the courts to adapt their decisions to the needs of the moment. In this situation, radical teachers may never be able to safely express their views, especially in nonhigher education institutions. Historically, judicial flexibility on the issue of the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech has meant little freedom "for the one who thinks differently." (MD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment