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ERIC Number: ED555011
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 269
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9757-4
Student Speech--The First Amendment and Qualified Immunity Under 42 U.S.C. Section 983: Conduct Implications for School Administrators
Araux, Jose Luis
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of La Verne
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze the conduct implications of qualified immunity in allegations of deprivation of civil rights by public school administrators regarding the First Amendment-student speech. Methodology: Data were collected using the LexisNexis and JuriSearch online legal research systems, which identified decisions that matched the search terms: student speech and school district and first amendment and qualified immunity and 42 U.S.C.§ 1983. Thirty-seven cases qualified for this research based on the delimitations of this study. Findings: The district and circuit courts of appeals base their decisions on an in-depth analysis of 4 Supreme Court landmark cases: "Tinker" (1969), "Fraser" (1986), "Hazelwood" (1988), and "Morse" (2007). They also take in consideration decisions made by other district and circuit courts in different jurisdictions. The specific findings were discussed and presented in the following topics: confederate flag, cyberspeech, expression of sexuality, religious speech, saluting the flag, school violence, student athletes, student protest/messages, and student-written materials. Conclusions: School administrators need to carefully analyze the broad principles of the four Supreme Court landmark decisions: "Tinker" (1969), "Fraser" (1986), "Hazelwood" (1988), and "Morse" (2007) when addressing students' Freedom of Speech. Administrators need to take into consideration the specific characteristics of each case, the school environment, community culture and demographics when limiting students' freedom of speech. Also, they need to be extremely careful when addressing off-campus speech, because the courts do not seem to be willing to abandon the "Tinker" (1969) test of a reasonably substantial and material disruption of the educational process. Furthermore, the lack of Supreme Court decisions related to cyber-speech has complicated the analysis of school officials limiting freedom of speech related to multimedia websites and social networking. Recommendations: Further study is recommended: extend the current research to college campuses, include the analysis of states' court decisions, analyze teachers' freedom of speech, analyze the types of administrators' training programs related to their constitutional rights, focus on students' cyber-bullying and sexting. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Bethel School District 403 v Fraser; First Amendment; Hazelwood School District v Kuhlmeier; Tinker v Des Moines Independent School District