School Law: Teacher Freedom of Expression Part I

Engagement Description


A teacher's freedom to express their perspective in public or personal matters either within or outside of the school setting may or may not be protected under the First Amendment. This course provides an understanding of the considerations that influence such decisions based on the Constitution and legal precedent. A number of hypothetical cases are examined for the legal considerations that influence court decisions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Teachers will understand when their expression may be protected and when it may
    be restricted under the First Amendment - both in and out of school.
  2. Teachers will more confidently engage based on their understanding of personal rights and freedoms.
  3. Teachers will learn to avoid potential litigation and/or dismissal due to expressions not protected under the First Amendment.

About the Author

David Schimmel, J.D.

David Schimmel, J.D.

David Schimmel, J.D. is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and from 1999 to 2010 was Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is author of over 70 articles and co-author of 8 books about law and education, including Teachers and the Law, 9th Ed. (2015).

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