Week 8 Discussion 2 – Teachers’ First Amendment Rights
Teachers have a First Amendment right to express their views on matters of public concern without fear of retaliation. The landmark case for this one was what we refer to as the “Pickering” case (Pickering v. Board of Education- 1968). However, when public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, they are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline (Garcetti et al. v.Ceballos,– U.S. Supreme Court 2006).
Access the links below and read the two case summaries.
Pickering v. Board of Education- 1968
Garcetti et al. v. Ceballos,– U.S. Supreme Court 2006
As you ponder these cases and First Amendment rights for teachers, consider this:
A teacher in your building wants to introduce a controversial book to the students in her English class. She has consulted with you, and your advice has been that she might want to re-consider her decision since it may not go well with parents in your district. She ignores your advice and brings the book into her classroom curriculum. Immediately, there is an “uprising” from parents who are calling for her dismissal. Is this violating her First Amendment rights as a teacher? Is she covered under the Pickering case? If so, use that case to support your opinion. If not, why does Pickering not apply to her?
Your initial responses are due by 11:55 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday and should be between 200-250 words. The initial posting should be a statement of your point of view on the question, supported by the required readings. Y
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