Teachers First Amendment

News & Analysis as of

From The Jaws Of Defeat, Public Unions Snatch Lucky Victory

For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions...more

Split Supreme Court Upholds Union Agency Fees...for Now

On March 29, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a decision permitting public-sector unions to continue collecting “agency fees” from nonmember workers. This is a major victory for public sector unions, as a...more

Supreme Court Tie Leaves Public Sector Agency Shops In Place...For Now

On March 29, 2016, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence decision affirming, by a 4-4 vote, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in a case challenging the...more

Public Sector Unions Dodge a Bullet on Non-Member Fees

Public sector union officials and their allies will breathe easier as a challenge to the collection of “agency fees” from non-members was rejected by a deadlocked United States Supreme Court earlier this week. In a per curiam...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #5

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one per curiam decision on March 29, 2016: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., No. 14-915: Petitioner Rebecca Friedrichs and other public school teachers in California...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision on Public Union Fees: Still Valid But No Further Guidance

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in a case on the validity of public-sector “agency shop” arrangements, which permit unions to charge a fee (in order to pay for select...more

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the...more

Illinois Court Finds Teaching the “N” Word is Not Protected by the First Amendment

Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois addressed whether a teacher could be disciplined for using the word “n*gger” in a sixth grade classroom. In Brown v. Board of Education of the...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

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

English Teacher’s Blog Post Ruled As Unprotected Speech

A Pennsylvania District Court dismissed teacher Natalie Munroe’s violation of free speech claim against the Central Bucks School District. Ms. Munroe accused the School District and some administrators for violating her free...more

Court of Appeals Holds That Student Safety Concerns Outweighed Teachers’ Picketing Rights

On May 6, 2014, in Santer v. Board of Education of East Meadow Union Free School District, the New York Court of Appeals held that a school district did not violate the First Amendment by disciplining teachers who...more

District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

Teacher’s Comments About The First Lady Land Him In Hot Water

Bob Grisham, an Alabama high school teacher, has been suspended for 10 days without pay as a result of making comments referencing the first lady’s posterior. Grisham’s remarks including referring to the first lady as “fat...more

#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

Public School Teachers, Free Speech, and Hostile Environment

In public school, the constitutional tension can be high on these issues: students' and teachers' free speech rights; teachers' Free Exercise rights; the school's concern for the Establishment clause; when bullying begins;...more

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