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What is freedom of expression?
 
What rights to freedom of expression do students have?
 
What has the Supreme Court said about free expression?
 
May public schools impose dress codes and uniforms?
 
May a school punish a student for wearing Confederate flag attire?
 
Are political messages on students’ clothing protected?
 
Can students wear clothing with profanity?
 
May a public school official legally censor a school-sponsored publication, like a newspaper or yearbook?
 
May a public school legally censor an off-campus, 'underground' student publication?
 
May administrators remove controversial books from school library shelves?
 
What types of books are most subject to censorship?
 
Is speech on the Internet entitled to as much protection as speech in more traditional media?
 
Does it matter whether a student creates his cyberspeech at school?
 
May schools enforce speech codes on school grounds?
 
May a public school exclude certain student clubs or groups?
 
If a student creates his material at home, how can school officials possibly regulate it?
 
Can school officials restrict online expression because it contains offensive language?
 
Are public school students required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
 
May students pray or discuss religion in public schools?
 
May a student lead a prayer at graduation exercises?
 
Does it violate my First Amendment rights if a school official reads over my graduation speech before I give it?
 
 

No. The courts have said school officials may review a graduation speech before it is given. They may also censor parts of that speech as long as they can show it is reasonably related to a legitimate educational concern. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1985 case Bethel School District v. Fraser, asserted that “The determination of what manner of speech in the classroom or in school assembly is inappropriate properly rests with the school board.” In its 1988 ruling in Hazelwood School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court wrote that “educators do not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.” Meanwhile, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case (Cole v. Oroville Union High Sch.) that dealt specifically with the issue of graduation speeches, issued an opinion in 2000 that stated in part, “the principal retains supervisory control over all aspects of the graduation, and has final authority to approve the content of student speeches.”

 
 
Do students have to stand and remove their hats during the Pledge?
 
If I wear my hair long or dye it an unusual color, can I get in trouble at school?
 
Can public schools use Internet filters to block students' access to specific Web sites?
 
Can students be forced to stand while other students recite the Pledge?
 
Can different rules about hair length apply in extracurricular activities and the regular school day?
 
Does a public school have the right to prohibit students from wearing hats in school?
 
What about the power of schools to control speech in the classroom?
 
How do schools resolve the tension between freedom of speech and the need for discipline and control?
 
Can a principal forbid a teacher from reading certain curriculum-related texts in class?
 
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Last system update: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | 13:32:20
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student expression issues >
Clothing, dress codes & uniforms
K-12 newspapers & yearbooks
Underground papers & off-campus speech
Cyberspeech
Book censorship
Hate speech & speech codes
Clubs
Pledge of Allegiance in public schools
Speaking out in school