Sometimes freedom of speech could cause problems in the schools, apart from that students should be able to express themselves and don’t be punished for that.

You have the rights to speak out, while you follow the rules of the school and do not violate the policies of the school. You have the right to use your social media and feel free to post what you want, the schools can’t punish you from doing that off campus or school hours. 

Cases

In 1969 a girl went to school with a black t-shirt to support the Vietnam war. The school district claimed that the act was disruptive, the Supreme Court established  a standard favorable to a broad interpretation of the rights of first amendment students in the case.

  • “The digital age, with its wonderful capacity to democratize speech, is so important to students’ rights, but also carries new and interesting threats to students’ rights,” Tinker says. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas. This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse.”

Also in 2009 a 13 year old student in California, went to a restaurant with her friends and recorded them using profanity to ridicule another student, she uploaded the video a commented with other students about it, including the girl that they were making fun of who became upset and reported to the school. The school suspended the girl though there was nothing that proves that the students watched the video in the school.

according to Dallas news ”A district court sided with J.C., ruling that those things didn’t rise to a substantial disruption of school.”(Dallas News)

In 2012 twin brothers Sean and Steven Wilson created a blog to unburden about events at their Missouri high school, they made fun of black students.

School officials many school computers were used to get in the blog, and the teachers had difficulties to teach because the students were distracted and upset. After the twins were suspended for 180 days they sued.

Then a district court lifted the suspension, but an appellate court revoke the decision. It rule the tinker standard applied because the blog was target at the high school. 

Rules for speech at schools 

The K-12 schools have a special responsibility to keep children safe, teach them how to behave, and make sure the campus environment is conducive to learning.

  • You respect students’ rights to freedom of expression.
  • To protect the children and the learning environment.  

There are some topics that you can talk about and there are others that you can not talk about.

Drugs, vulgar, disruptive speeches are not allowed in some schools. The school can punish you for that.

But you can do speeches about things that doesn’t go against the rules of the school.

Do students still have free speech in schools?

Though public school students do possess First Amendment freedoms, the courts allow school officials to regulate certain types of student expression. For example, school officials may prohibit speech that substantially disrupts the school environment or that invades the rights of others. Many courts have held that school officials can restrict student speech that is lewd.

Beside the rules, you should have the right to free speech in schools.

You should have the right to talk about what you feel uncomfortable or with what you don’t agree with, and share it with your schoolmates and not be punished for that.

What would a world in which we can not share what we feel or what we think is not right look like? Our opinion counts and people should listen to our ideas.

Domenica is a 9th grade student , She is from Ecuador, she loves to do sports, she practices horseback riding and volleyball. She wants to be a horseback riding coach.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and/or student and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of United 4 Social Change Inc., its board members, or officers.
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