ERIC Number: EJ1074031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: N/A
Do Minors Have First Amendment Rights in Schools?
Knowledge Quest, v44 n1 p8-13 Sep-Oct 2015
Courts have held that minors have First Amendment rights and that those rights include the right to receive information. However, how does that apply in the school setting? The First Amendment prohibits governmental entities from unconstitutionally infringing rights of free speech. Students in public schools, therefore, do have rights under the First Amendment. The author, in introducing this article adds the disclaimer that the article is not a "legal opinion," but rather presents examples where the rights of children in the school setting were challenged with regard to "expressing their right to free speech, removal of inappropriate reading materials from school libraries, or internet access to sites that could prove harmful to minors." The author concludes that public school officials must be cognizant of the First Amendment rights of minors when these officials make decisions about library resources, the curriculum, and policies related to extracurricular activities. Decisions to restrict access to materials that are based on the officials' disagreement with the views expressed in the material, rather than on their educational suitability, could subject the school district to litigation and substantial costs.
Descriptors: Constitutional Law, Religion, Freedom of Speech, Court Litigation, School Libraries, Adolescents, Internet
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/knowledgequest/knowledgequest.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: 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