ERIC Number: ED253458
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Freedom in the Public Schools. ERIC Digest No. 1.
Cook, Kay K.
This synthesis of current attitudes on academic freedom as defined by lower court and Supreme Court cases describes the (1) framework in which academic freedom operates, (2) powers and limitations of state legislatures and school officials in defining the curriculum and setting policy, (3) rights and limitations of teachers in making curricular and course decisions, (4) summaries of recent court decisions related to academic freedom, and (5) issues that educational policy makers should address. The framework described in the first section contends that a teacher may use methods, symbols, or materials that are relevant to the subject matter being taught, not in violation of valid laws, compatible with current standards of decency, reasonable for student's level of maturity, intended for legitimate educational purpose, and not likely to result in a substantial disruption of school activities. Sections outlining specific powers and limitations of state legislators, school officials, and teachers are followed by summaries describing both Supreme Court (e.g., "Tinker versus Des Moines School District" and "Board of Education, Island Trees Free District Number 26 versus Pico") and lower court cases in which academic freedom was an issue. Four recommendations designed to help policy makers at all educational levels deal with issues concerning academic freedom are followed by a list of related resources published between 1980 and 1984. (LH)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Censorship, Court Litigation, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Guidelines, Laws, Public Schools, Teacher Rights
ERIC/ChESS, 855 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Boulder, CO.