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The First Amendment Goes to School. Mrs. Verpooten, Miss Wadycki & Miss Dalton. The First Amendment.

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the first amendment goes to school

The First Amendment Goes to School

Mrs. Verpooten,

Miss Wadycki & Miss Dalton

the first amendment
The First Amendment
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • The Bill of Rights
lander vs seaver 1859
Lander vs. Seaver (1859)
  • The first Supreme Court case that dealt with student rights.
  • Lander, a student, used “saucy and disrespectful language” to describe his teacher after school in front of his classmates.
  • He called the teacher, “Old Jack Seaver.”
  • Do you think Lander won or lost the case?
lander vs seaver 18591
Lander vs. Seaver (1859)
  • He Lost!
  • Seaver, the teacher won the case and Lander left school.
  • This set a precedent (foundation) for students to lose some rights at school.
meyer vs nebraska 1923
Meyer vs. Nebraska (1923)
  • The state of Nebraska had outlawed teaching foreign languages.
  • Meyer, a teacher, taught in German.
  • Sidenote: what was happening in history that made people upset that he taught German?
  • Meyer sued. Do you think he won or lost?
meyer vs nebraska 19231
Meyer vs. Nebraska (1923)
  • He won!
  • In this case, the courts established that teachers have a “right to teach” and students have a “right to learn.”
tinker vs des moines 1969
Tinker vs. Des Moines (1969)
  • Three of the Tinker family children and a friend of theirs wore black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War.
  • The school had heard about the armbands ahead of time and warned the school that any student wearing an armband would be suspended.
  • The Tinkers were suspended and sued.
tinker vs des moines 19691
Tinker vs. Des Moines (1969)
  • The school argued in court that the armbands were a “substantial disruption” to the school day.
  • Do you think the school won or lost?
tinker vs des moines 19692
Tinker vs. Des Moines (1969)
  • The school lost!
  • The courts, in a landmark decision, said that student rights “do not stop at the schoolhouse gate.”
  • The courts also said the school did not prove that the students had disrupted school at all.
ingraham 1974
Ingraham (1974)
  • This case allows schools to use “reasonable” corporal punishment.
  • So, the only reason you can’t be hit in school by myself or any principal is because the school board doesn’t allow it.
  • Aren’t you glad? 
new jersey vs tlo 1985
New Jersey vs. TLO (1985)
  • Schools can search belongings (a purse, backpack, car) when they reasonably suspect a rule is being broken.
  • Police must show probable cause. What is the difference between probable cause and reasonable suspicion?
bethel vs fraser 1986
Bethel vs. Fraser (1986)
  • Matthew Fraser gave a nomination speech for his friend running for student body president at a voluntary assembly.
  • The speech, which several teachers had advised him not to give, was full of sexual innuendo.
  • Fraser was suspended and prohibited from speaking at graduation.
  • He sued. Did he win or lose?
bethel vs fraser 19861
Bethel vs. Fraser (1986)
  • He lost!
  • The courts decided that schools can “prohibit the use of vulgar & offensive terms” in a school assembly.
  • The court noted that some of the students in attendance were only 14 years old.
  • Did this create a reversal of Tinker?
hazelwood vs kuhlmeier 1988
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • Kathy Kuhlmeier and her staff wrote stories about divorce, runaways, pregnant teens and juvenile delinquents.
  • The principal of Hazelwood East High School pulled the stories from the paper without the students knowledge.
hazelwood vs kuhlmeier 19881
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • The principal had prior review of the paper, meaning he usually read the paper before it went to print.
  • This time, he used prior restraint, meaning he actually decided what could and could not be seen by students.
  • Because of this, the paper could not be considered a public forum.
hazelwood vs kuhlmeier 19882
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • A public forum is place set aside

to freely exchange ideas.

  • It goes back to ancient Greece. People could stand in the forum and say whatever they wanted and no one could hurt them for what they said.
  • Why are public forums important to our government’s operation?
hazelwood vs kuhlmeier 19883
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • Do you think the students won or lost?
hazelwood vs kuhlmeier 19884
Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier (1988)
  • They lost!
  • The judges said that because the principal controlled the content, the newspaper was not a public forum, so the students really had no rights to the content at all.
  • The judges said that any censorship must be “reasonably related” to an educational objective.
good news club vs milford 2000
Good News Club vs. Milford (2000)
  • The Good News Club, a Christian organization, wanted to use school facilities after school and were denied, even though other groups were allowed space.
  • Do you think the club won or lost?
good news club vs milford 20001
Good News Club vs. Milford (2000)
  • They won!
  • The courts have a strong fair use policy. If one group is allowed, all groups have to be allowed.
  • There are certain exceptions to this. What kind of group do you think schools would be allowed to exclude?
owasso vs falvo 2002
Owasso vs. Falvo (2002)
  • In Owasso schools, teachers had students trade papers, grade them and call out the scores to the teacher.
  • Mrs. Falvo had a learning disabled son who was embarrassed when his scores were read aloud to his classes. She asked the school to stop and they did not.
  • She sued.
owasso vs falvo 20021
Owasso vs. Falvo (2002)
  • Mrs. Falvo argued her FERPA (Family Educational Right to Privacy Act) rights which will not let schools give out education records.
  • Do you think she won or lost?
owasso vs falvo 20022
Owasso vs. Falvo (2002)
  • She lost!
  • The court agreed that anything in a students permanent record was private.
  • However, they said that as the grades were called out, they were not yet part of the permanent record.
dean vs utica 2004
Dean vs. Utica (2004)
  • Katy Dean wrote about a court case against the school. A husband and wife sued the school because they believed the bus garage (which they lived next to) gave off fumes that led to the husband’s cancer.
  • The principal pulled the story claiming his Hazelwood rights. He said the story was unbalanced and the sources were not credible. The paper was a public forum.
dean vs utica 20041
Dean vs. Utica (2004)
  • The principal himself was interviewed for the story and refused to comment.
  • Katy Dean had interviewed doctors, lawyers and included in her story that the principal refused to comment.
  • Katy sued, saying the school had no educational purpose for censoring her.
  • Do you think she won or lost?
dean vs utica 20042
Dean vs. Utica (2004)
  • She won!
  • The judges decided the case in ONE HOUR and called the school’s actions indefensible.
  • What impact do you think this case has?
dean vs utica 20043
Dean vs. Utica (2004)
  • It helps define the limits and reiterate the requirements of Hazelwood censorship.
  • Because the school had a public forum, the school had no right to pull the story. The school was just afraid of looking bad and didn’t even have the educational purpose they would have needed even if the paper was not a public forum!