Free speech in public schools since Hazelwood
The purpose of this study was to analyze selected federal court cases that relate to students' freedom of expression and speech to provide public school administrators with operational guidelines so that their policies and procedures on student expression and speech coincide with those of the Federal and State courts. The primary sources that were used in this research were decisions handed down by the state and federal courts that primarily dealt with students' rights to free speech and free expression. Case analysis was the methodology used to analyze the court cases. Chapter 1 is the introduction to the study. The second chapter of the study contains a historical background of freedom of expression in the American public schools and a review of the literature in the research area. This chapter and the remainder of this work describes and recognizes the work of University of Alabama-Birmingham Professor, George Theodore, whose extensive research on this topic is a precursor to this study. Chapter 2 also provides a discussion of the various legal and non-legal post-Hazelwood commentaries arising from First Amendment cases in the public school setting. Part II of the second chapter examines some common claims of infringement arising from post-Hazelwood cases. Chapter 3 describes the methodology and procedures utilized in the performance of this study and provides an outline of the case research, commentaries and other electronic resources utilized in this study. Chapter 4 includes briefs and analyses of cases that have been adjudicated since Hazelwood and Theodore's 1997 study. Chapter 4 also includes a discussion of the various standards that the courts are currently utilizing in the post-Hazelwood modern era. Chapter 5 presents a summary of the trends in judicial analysis and conclusions of the findings of this study. Chapter 5 examines the differing trends demonstrated by the courts since George Theodore's examination of this topic in 1997. The final section the study provides recommendations for further study and some guiding principles for school administrators with regard to their consideration of public school students' free speech assertions.