First Amendment

Flags are displayed as the Newberg, Ore. teachers gather with community members ahead of the Newberg School Board vote on whether to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags at the school in September, 2021.
Flags are displayed as the Newberg Education Association gathers with community members ahead of the Newberg School Board vote on whether to ban Black Lives Matter and Pride flags at the school, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Newberg, Ore.
Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP
Equity & Diversity Pride Flags and Black Lives Matter Signs in the Classroom: Supportive Symbols or Propaganda?
Some districts ban Pride flags and Black Lives Matters signs in the classroom. Teachers are pushing back.
Eesha Pendharkar, January 25, 2022
8 min read
Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy is in a conflict with the Bremerton, 
Wash., school district over his silent prayer after games.
Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joseph A. Kennedy stands at on the 50-yard line at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal over his dismissal for praying after football games.
Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Hear Case of Coach Who Prayed After Games in Defiance of School District
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether school districts may prohibit private religious expression by public school employees.
Mark Walsh, January 14, 2022
4 min read
The Carson family pictured outside Bangor Christian School in Bangor, Maine on Nov. 5, 2021.
Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael E. Bindas, left, accompanies Amy and David Carson who flank their daughter, Olivia, outside Bangor Christian Schools in Maine in early November. The Carsons are one of two families seeking to make religious schools eligible for Maine's tuition program for students from towns without high schools.
Linda Coan O’Kresik for Education Week
Law & Courts Can Public Money Go to Religious Schools? A Divisive Supreme Court Case Awaits
The justices will weigh Maine's exclusion of religious schools from its "tuitioning" program for students from towns without high schools.
Mark Walsh, November 18, 2021
13 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 2 heard arguments on whether a school board's censure of one of its members implicated the First Amendment.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts In Censure of School Board Member, U.S. Supreme Court Skeptical of First Amendment Claim
The justices weighed the free speech implications of a formal reprimand of a community college board member who violated board rules.
Mark Walsh, November 2, 2021
7 min read
LEFT: Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. RIGHT: Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, questions Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, left, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the U.S. Department of Justice on Capitol Hill on Thursday, questioned by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, among others.
Greg Nash via AP, Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal 'A Snitch Line on Parents.' GOP Reps Grill AG Over Response to Threats on School Officials
Attorney General Merrick Garland said his effort is meant to address violent threats against school boards, not to stifle parents' dissent.
Evie Blad, October 21, 2021
5 min read
Conceptual image of a board meeting.
A-Digit/DigitalVision Vectors
Law & Courts Is Censuring a 'Rogue' School Board Member a Free Speech Violation? High Court to Decide
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments on whether official rebukes of officeholders trigger First Amendment concerns.
Mark Walsh, October 20, 2021
8 min read
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, above, is named in a new lawsuit alleging that the state's recent law restricting teaching on race and sex is unconstitutional.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, above, is named in a new lawsuit alleging that the state's recent law restricting teaching on race and sex is unconstitutional.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Law & Courts Critical Race Theory Law Violates Teachers' Free Speech, ACLU Argues in New Lawsuit
The lawsuit alleges Oklahoma's law harms students of color and weakens what all students learn about the state's history.
Stephen Sawchuk, October 19, 2021
4 min read
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