Values File

The court recognized a right to academic freedom

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Unformatted text preview: uot; in class while discussing a magazine article containing the word. The article discussed dissent, protest, radicalism, and revolt in the late 1960s and repeatedly used the offending word. In analyzing the article, the teacher explained the derivation of the expletive and its relevance to the thencontemporary protest movement. The court began its analysis by acknowledging the necessity of some regulation of classroom speech. However, fearing "the general chilling effect of permitting such rigorous censorship," the court found that shielding high-school seniors from the expletive demeaned the educational process. "If the answer were that the students must be protected from such exposure, we would fear for their future," the court explained. The court also affirmed the teacher's right to quote an author when no "proper study of the article could avoid consideration of the word." The court added that the speech neither harmed the students nor disrupted the educational process. Similarly, in Sterzing v. Fort Bend Independent School District, the district court granted judgment in favor of a high-school civics teacher who was dismissed because he raised and discussed controversial issues, used contemporary anti-war literature, and implemented a six-day section on race relations. The court recognized a right to academic freedom, supporting the "substantive rights of a teacher to choose a teaching method, which, in the Court's view, on the basis of expert opinion, served a demonstrated educational purpose, and the procedural right of a teacher not to be discharged for the use of a teaching method which was not proscribed by a regulation of definite administrative action, and as to which it was not proven that he had notice that its use was prohibited." "A responsible teacher," continued the Sterzing court, "must have freedom to use the tools of his profession as he sees fit." EDUCATION ADVANCES PUBLIC WELFARE Elisabeth Jaffe, Duke Universi...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.

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