ERIC Number: ED262454
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Who Runs the Schools: Judges or Educators?
Flygare, Thomas J.
This paper argues that courts have tended to identify and enforce individual rights at the expense, in many instances, of the ability of school boards and legislatures to carry out what they perceive to be the will of the majority of voters in their jurisdictions. The trend emphasizing individual rights began in 1954 with the Supreme Court decision in "Brown v. Board of Education" that upheld the rights of minorities over the will of the majority with respect to school segregation. Other pivotal Supreme Court decisions and acts of Congress that furthered this trend are discussed, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964; "Pickering v. Board of Education" (free speech for teachers on issues of public interest); "Tinker v. Board of Education" (students' right to nondisruptive free expression), legislation against discrimination on the basis of sex or handicap; and two 1975 Supreme Court decisions protecting students' constitutional rights against school boards. Starting in the mid-1970's, however, the Supreme Court shifted toward a position more supportive of the rights of elected officials to act in the best interests of the majority. Supreme Court decisions indicative of this trend are discussed, including limitations on procedural due process rights, a shift in burden of proof to the plaintiff in discrimination cases, and other cases supporting school officials' prerogatives over individual rights. The paper concludes by warning that school officials should not abuse their newfound judicial support. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bill of Rights; Brown v Board of Education; Pickering v Board of Education