Frequently Asked Questions
Student Free Expression
How do school officials and the courts apply free-speech court standards?
How far may schools go in restricting student speech in the interest of school safety?
May a teacher censor a student’s artistic expression?
May schools limit the time, place, and manner of student expression?
May students distribute religious or political literature at school?
What are the free expression rights of students in public schools under the First Amendment?
What limits, if any, may school officials place on student expression that occurs off school grounds?
Teacher Free Expression
Does a school violate the First Amendment if it disciplines a teacher for speech that touches on a matter of public concern?
How do courts balance a teacher’s First Amendment rights against the interests of the public school system?
Is a teacher’s classroom a public forum?
May a teacher be punished for teaching subjects school officials or parents deem unsuitable?
May a teacher refuse to teach certain materials in class if she feels the curriculum infringes on her personal beliefs?
Must a public school teacher salute the flag during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance?
What types of laws protect teachers who believe they have been unfairly treated by a school board, school superintendent, or other school official?
How do courts determine whether speech is a true threat?
Is profanity a form of expression protected by the First Amendment?
May schools enforce speech codes on school grounds?
When does student speech become "harassment?"
Student Dress and School Uniforms
How does a court determine if a student's choice of dress is constitutionally protected?
Is a student's choice of dress protected by the First Amendment?
May a school constitutionally punish students for wearing long hair or dying their hair an unusual color?
May a school punish a student for wearing Confederate flag attire?
May a teacher wear clothing not approved by a teacher dress code?
May schools adopt mandatory uniform policies?
May schools prohibit students from wearing armbands or buttons that contain a political and/or religious message?
May teachers wear religious jewelry in the classroom?
What are the constitutional objections to mandatory dress codes and uniform policies?
What are the policy arguments for and against uniforms and school dress codes?
What should a school do if a student has a sincere religious objection to a uniform policy?
Students and the Internet
Student Extracurricular Clubs and Activities
May noncurriculum-related student groups use school media to advertise their meetings?
May public school facilities be used by outside community groups during nonschool hours?
May religious leaders or other outside adults attend the meetings of student clubs?
May the school exclude any student extracurricular group?
What control does the school retain over student meetings in a limited open forum?
Last updated: Friday, July 31, 2015 | 16:05:58
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