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Supreme Court Refuses to Provide Clarity on Discipline for Off-Campus, Online Student Speech

The Supreme Court has a lot to worry about these days, like a year plus of finding out first hand what can happen (or not happen) to your ability to make precedent when you have a 4-4 deadlock on the Court. So its recent...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

Crying Over (Virtual) Spilled Milk: ACLU Sues School District For Firing Employee Who Posted Vegan Beliefs Online

A recent lawsuit out of Ohio brings a local flare to what has otherwise become a relatively common story. We’ve all heard of teachers being disciplined or dismissed for posting something thoughtless online that led to...more

Limits of Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Tested in Lawsuit Against California District

As our firm reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently held that sectarian invocations at public meetings do not automatically violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which separates church and...more

Federal Court Says New York City Schools Can Prohibit “Religious Worship” In School Facilities

As reported in the New York Times, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a school district could prohibit outside community groups from using school facilities for “religious services” without violating the...more

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Lawsuit: The Acceptable Role Of Religion In Public School Winter Musical Programs And Toy...

Thanksgiving is not yet here, but school districts across the country already are grappling with an important question regarding later, religious holidays like Christmas. The question: Can religious content be included in...more

Seventh Circuit Dismisses Lawsuit Against Guidance Counselor For Defamation

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the highest federal court with jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, recently rejected a claim by a parent that a school guidance counselor’s statement to his...more

Settlement Reached In Case Over Jesus Portrait In Ohio Middle School

In an earlier blog post, we addressed whether an Ohio school district violated the First Amendment by hanging a portrait of Jesus in a middle school. The portrait allegedly was a gift to the school board by a Christian...more

10/18/2013  /  ACLU , Art , First Amendment , Public Schools , Religion

Can Schools Prohibit “I ♡ Boobies” Bracelets . . . Or Not?

This month, two courts issued dramatically different opinions about whether school districts can prohibit breast cancer awareness bracelets reading “I ? boobies” without running afoul of students’ First Amendment free speech...more

8/28/2013  /  First Amendment , Free Speech , Students

#Edchat Followup: Legal Issues For BYOD And 1:1 Programs In Schools

Each Tuesday the #Edchat hashtag brings together educators from across the globe to discuss education-related topics on Twitter. Last week one of the questions on #Edchat was “How do we train educators to teach in programs...more

New Jersey District Dismisses Teacher Who Called Students “Future Criminals” On Facebook

Earlier this month, a New Jersey appellate court affirmed the dismissal of a tenured teacher for comments she made about her students on Facebook. Good summaries of the case, In re O’Brien, can be found through the National...more

Disciplining Student Speech As A Threat After Newtown – The Right Choice?

The media coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting is tapering down, but the lessons for school administrators in its wake are just beginning. One such lesson comes after a California school suspended a high school senior...more

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