First Amendment

In this June 8, 2021 photo, with dark clouds overhead, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court's new term opens in early October with several cases that could impact K-12 schools.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Law & Courts Here Are the Upcoming Supreme Court Cases That Matter for Schools
Major cases on school choice and religious schools will be heard, along with a case on whether school boards can reprimand outspoken members.
Mark Walsh, September 27, 2021
9 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts Virginia Supreme Court Backs Teacher Who Spoke Against Transgender Policy at Board Meeting
The state's high court upheld an injunction requiring the Loudoun County school district to reinstate elementary teacher Tanner Cross.
Mark Walsh, August 31, 2021
3 min read
Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, center in blue, kneels and prays after his team lost to Centralia in Bremerton, Wash., on Oct. 16, 2015. Kennedy, who was suspended for praying at midfield after games, has filed a discrimination complaint on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission according to The Liberty Institute, a Texas-based law firm representing the coach.
Joe Kennedy, center in blue, kneels and prays after a game in October 2015 when he was the assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash. In a long-running legal fight, Kennedy contends he has First Amendment free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion rights to express his Christian faith while on the job. The case is likely headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lindsey Wasso/The Seattle Times via AP
Law & Courts Praying Coach v. District That Suspended Him: What's Next in Fight Over Religious Expression
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declined to reconsider an earlier panel ruling that sided with the school district.
Mark Walsh, July 20, 2021
4 min read
The Supreme Court is seen at sundown in Washington on Nov. 6, 2020.
The Supreme Court is seen at sundown in Washington on Nov. 6, 2020.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Weigh Maine's Exclusion of Religious Schools From 'Tuitioning' Program
The justices will decide whether a tuition aid program for towns without public high schools must include religious schools.
Mark Walsh, July 2, 2021
8 min read
Law & Courts Video The Supreme Court's Vulgar Snapchat Ruling and What It Means for Students' Free Speech
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school cheerleader after she was suspended from the team over a vulgar Snapchat post. Here's what the high court said.
Eric Harkleroad, July 1, 2021
4:00
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo in Washington in April.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts Educators Look for Guideposts in Supreme Court Ruling on Student Free Speech
Measured responses greet a ruling that a district violated a student’s rights when it disciplined her for a vulgar Snapchat video.
Denisa R. Superville, June 23, 2021
6 min read
Image shows a picture of Brandi Levy in her cheerleading uniform in front of Mahanoy Area High School.
Brandi Levy, now an 18-year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that were at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case on student speech rights.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Cheerleader Who Posted Vulgar Snapchat Message
The decision was 8-1 for a student who'd been disciplined by her school, but the court suggests some off-campus speech may be regulated.
Mark Walsh, June 23, 2021
12 min read
Image shows a teacher in a classroom.
skynesher/E+
Law & Courts If Critical Race Theory Is Banned, Are Teachers Protected by the First Amendment?
Bills to rein in how race and other controversial topics are taught have thrust K-12 teachers into a thicket of free speech issues.
Mark Walsh, June 10, 2021
10 min read
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks during a bill signing ceremony at St. John the Apostle School on May 11, 2021, in Hialeah, Fla.
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks during a bill signing ceremony at St. John the Apostle School on May 11, 2021, in Hialeah, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
School & District Management Florida Commissioner Says ‘We Made Sure’ Teacher Who Hung Black Lives Matter Flag Was Fired
But the Duval County teacher has not been fired. She's been reassigned to non-teaching duties while the district investigates.
Emily Bloch, The Florida Times-Union, May 18, 2021
2 min read
Image of directing flow around a cone.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
States Four States Have Placed Legal Limits on How Teachers Can Discuss Race. More May Follow
It's the latest effort by Republican lawmakers in several states to rein in the approach to issues they consider divisive or inappropriate.
Sarah Schwartz, May 17, 2021
7 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court on April 23. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a major case on student speech.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech
In arguments, the justices looked for a narrow way to decide a case about the discipline of a cheerleader over a profane Snapchat message.
Mark Walsh, April 28, 2021
7 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Weigh When School Board Censure of a Member Violates the First Amendment
The justices will decide an issue that has become more salient as a few board members rant inappropriately on social media.
Mark Walsh, April 26, 2021
5 min read
Image shows a picture of Brandi Levy in her cheerleading uniform in front of Mahanoy Area High School.
Brandi Levy, 18, through her parents, sued her school district under the First Amendment’s free speech clause over her discipline for an off-campus Snapchat message.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts 7 Things to Know About the Cheerleader Speech Case Coming Up in the U.S. Supreme Court
The justices hear arguments on Wednesday in the case about whether school officials may discipline students for off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 24, 2021
4 min read
Image of Brandi Levy.
Brandi Levy, now an 18-year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that are now at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case on student speech rights.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts How a Cheerleader's Snapchat Profanity Could Shape the Limits of Students' Free Speech
Brandi Levy's social media post is the basis for a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether schools may punish off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 12, 2021
9 min read