I. Introduction:

As a practicing public school administrator, I am continually faced with situations in which I must evaluate student misbehavior and assess the appropriate consequences.  As one might expect, students frequently find grounds to differ with my evaluation of the situation.  The explanations students offer for their actions are many and varied, but one of the favored defenses is "I was just exercising my right to free speech!  You can't punish me for that!"  A sound understanding of how the free speech and expression principles of the First Amendment apply to students in a public school setting is essential to any administrator who intends on doing his or her job effectively and staying out of court.  This pathfinder will explore some primary, secondary, and interdisciplinary sources that will help the school administrator enforce discipline policy while maintaining a proper respect and understanding for the important constitutional principle of free speech and expression.

II. Legal Information Sources

A. Primary Sources

1. Constitutional Amendments

2. Federal Statutes 3. Case Law

a. The Supreme Court

b. United States Court of Appeals and District Courts B. Secondary Sources III. Interdisciplinary Information Sources BACK TO THE TOP
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