Free Speech

Navigating Student Walkouts and Mass Protests

This brief outline will help school districts identify issues and potential responses to meet the challenges arising from student mass protests. It is the appendix to Coercion, Conscience, and the First Amendment: A Legal Guide for Public Schools on the Regulation of Student and Employee Speech (1/31/2018). First Amendment Guide link

V.A. v. San Pasqual Valley Unified School District

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issues prelimimary injunction barring San Pasqual Valley USD from enforecing its rules prohibiting students and coaches from engaging in political protests, such as kneeling or sitting during the National Anthem.

Davison v. Rose (4th Cir.)

Governance: Whether public office holder's private social media account constitutes a public forum for Fisrt Amendment purposes?

School boards and the First Amendment

School board members and their First Amendment rights was the topic of a Friday session at the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) School Law Seminar, held in conjunction with NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

The session was presented by Karla Schultz of Walsh, Gallegos, Trevino, Russo, & Kyle, PC, in Austin, Texas, and Mark Tilley of the Texas Association of School Boards, also in Austin.

Both presenters used case law as examples of what school board members, as elected official and private citizens, can and cannot do under their right to free speech.

Newsome v. Albemarle County School Board

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that a student who is challenging a school district’s dress code prohibiting the wearing of any apparel associated with weapons and violence is entitled to a preliminary injunction preventing the district from enforcing the code with regard to his wearing a t-shirt bearing the initials NRA and depicting three gunmen. 

Ziegler v. Martin Cnty. Sch. Dist., No. 14-14221 (S.D. Fla Mar. 2, 2015)

Opinion of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granting summary judgment to school district and sheriff's department on claims that students' Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights, Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights, and First Amendment speech rights were violated.

High school journalists look for answers on covering Religion

Thomas J. Gentzel, National School Boards Association, Executive Director, today joined moderator Charles Haynes, from the Religious Freedom Center, Newseum Institute, and panelists Michelle Boorstein, Religion Reporter, The Washington Post; Stella Edwards, Legislative Committee Chair, National Parent-Teacher Association; Murali Balaji, Director, Education and Curriculum Reform for the Hindu American Foundation; and David Kulp, senior at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School; at the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington.

Will SCOTUS keep passing on school district cases?

With the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) set to open its October 2014-2015 term on Monday Oct. 6, one can only wonder if it will continue to pass on school district cases. According to Education Week’s analysis, it has been over five years since SCOTUS has decided on a case involving school districts or local public school officials.

Leading Education Groups Urge Supreme Court to Review Errant Ruling in Student Speech Case

Alexandria, Va. (Jan. 6, 2014) - The National School Boards Association (NSBA), joined by other leading education groups and a state school boards association, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to accept Easton Area Sch. Dist. v. B.H for review and to reverse the appellate court’s decision as contrary to well-established Supreme Court precedent.

COSA School Law Practice Seminar

Attend COSA's annual in-depth School Law Practice Seminar where you can discuss shared challenges and grow as school attorneys and colleagues.

  • Earn up to 12 hours of CLE including 1 hour of ethics
  • Thursday morning work alike group luncheon meetings
  • Interactive discussions and in-depth sessions unique to your practice, including Through the Haze: Finding Clarity on Complex Issues Accompanying the Marijuana Legalization


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