ERIC Number: ED426489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Conundrum of Academic Freedom.
Stuller, W. Stuart
Inquiry & Analysis, p1-4 May 1997
This article provides an overview of court cases that affect the curricular speech of teachers. Despite the large number of cases, the law governing speech in the schools is anything but settled. Courts disagree as to the analytical framework that should be applied to such claims, although most courts use the standard articulated by the Supreme Court's "Hazelwood" decision, which states that school officials may regulate the classroom speech of teachers so long as those regulations are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns. High school curricular-speech cases began to appear shortly after the Supreme Court struck down a law that required university professors to sign loyalty oaths. Most court rulings on teachers' speech have been connected to "Hazelwood," though the courts have not applied "Hazelwood" with any measure of consistency. Nevertheless, many school districts use the "Hazelwood" case in defense since it creates a standard deferential to school officials. School lawyers also may draw on cases to claim that a teacher's speech is not a matter of public concern, and thus beyond the First Amendment. Context and definition are major concerns in these cases, as is the issue of due process. (RJM)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Civil Liberties, Court Litigation, Elementary Secondary Education, Evidence (Legal), Higher Education, Intellectual Freedom, Legal Responsibility, Teacher Rights
NSBA Council of School Attorneys, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (by subscription: $75 for 6 bimonthly issues).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA. Council of School Attorneys.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment