ERIC Number: ED361739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Free Speech for Public School Students: A "Basic Educational Mission."
Trager, Robert; Russomanno, Joseph A.
Noting that recent Supreme Court decisions (including Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier and Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser) moved markedly away from protecting students' First Amendment rights, this paper examined justifications for granting public school students freedom of expression. Rather than looking at where students' First Amendment rights stand, the paper's focus is on where they should be. The paper notes that courts have granted students expressive rights (such as the case of "Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District"), but then essentially withdrew them on legal (public forum) and educational (inculcating the majority's values) grounds that can lead only to continually diminished protection for students' freedom of expression. The paper argues that the approach should have been--and should be--utilizing freedom of expression rationales which are advocated for society at large. Arguing that the First Amendment is instrumental in providing the foundation for dissent, self-fulfillment, human dignity, and liberty, the paper concludes that students' expressive rights should be seen as a "basic educational mission" and are best protected by applying to the school setting basic First Amendment principles. One hundred forty-four notes are included. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment