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ERIC Number: ED402874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Clothing Professors with Immunity: Points of Law on Academic Freedom.
Kellerman, Ed; Cornelius, Luke
Over the years the Supreme Court has given academic freedom a special First Amendment status. This study reviewed a selected group of recent cases at public universities, focusing particularly on several where rulings were based either on a professor's public comments or in-class verbiage, in an attempt to assess the current status of academic freedom. Cases cited include two where professors were disciplined for views expressed outside the classroom; in both these cases the courts upheld the professors' rights of protected free speech. In two other cases where professors interjected personal religious beliefs during classroom activities, the courts ruled that the university had a responsibility to ensure a secular environment, especially in regard to curriculum. In several"hostile environment" and sexual harassment cases cited, the picture has been mixed, with the rulings usually supporting classroom speech that is germane to course content and not protecting speech that serve no academic function. The paper concludes that given the absence of educational precedents, the courts will continue to apply rulings from cases outside education (such as "Waters v. Churchill"), and suggests that academic freedom can best be protected by self-restraint and the understanding that speech at a higher level carries with it greater responsibility. (Contains 17 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment