“Pick”ering the Speech Rights of Public School Teachers: Arguing for a Movement by Courts toward the Hazelwood-Tinker Standard under the First Amendment


This Note addresses freedom of speech issues facing the nation's public schools, concentrating on the recent decision by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Lee v. York County School Division, for the final paper in my First Amendment course. Ultimately, this Note analyzes the court’s decision in this case and both standards set forth by the Supreme Court in dealing with free speech rights in the field of public education, which are currently creating a circuit split between the Courts of Appeals. The Note argues that the Hazelwood-Tinker standard applied to student speech should be the general standard used by all courts. The Note then argues against the alternate Pickering-Connick standard, used by the District Court in Lee, that analyzed free speech claims by public school teachers under an employer-employee relationship test for government occupations.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Education Law

Date of this Version

December 2006