Law & Courts

State Must Pay $155,000 in Case Over Disinvited Conference Speaker

By Mark Walsh — May 15, 2007 1 min read

A Massachusetts state judge has awarded $155,000 in fees and costs to the education author Alfie Kohn, who won a ruling last year that his rights were infringed by state officials who objected to his planned speech at a conference.

Mr. Kohn had been invited to address a conference being underwritten by a state-administered federal grant. But a state official objected to his planned speech against standardized testing, and the invitation was rescinded.

Judge Hiller B. Zobel of state superior court in Cambridge, Mass., ruled last July that the state’s actions had violated Mr. Kohn’s First Amendment free-speech rights. (“Mass. Violated Rights of Disinvited Speaker,” Aug. 30, 2006.)

On May 3, Judge Zobel awarded Mr. Kohn and three other plaintiffs in the case $150,000 in lawyers’ fees and some $5,000 in costs. The judge also granted an injunction that bars the state defendants from withholding or denying money for conferences unless a speaker’s proposed topic is clearly not related to the subject of the conference.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Massachusetts. See data on Massachusetts’ public school system.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Branding your district matters. This webinar will provide you with practical tips and strategies to elevate your brand from three veteran professionals, each of whom has been directly responsible for building their own district’s brand.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. school districts are using hybrid learning right now with varying degrees of success. Students and teachers are getting restless and frustrated with online learning, making curriculum engagement difficult and disjointed. While
Content provided by Samsung

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

Law & Courts Supreme Court Considers Issue of Damages That Comes Up in Many Suits Over School Policies
The justices weigh whether students still have a case for "nominal damages" when schools change a policy in response to a lawsuit.
6 min read
supreme court IMG
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Whether Schools May Discipline Students for Internet Speech
The justices will hear the appeal of a school district whose discipline of a student for her vulgar message on Snapchat was overturned.
5 min read
Law & Courts District's At-Large Elections Violated Minority Voting Rights, Federal Appeals Court Finds
The case involves school board elections in a majority Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish district with a large Black and Latino population.
3 min read
Image of people at voting booths.
LPETTET/E+
Law & Courts Federal Appeals Court Revives Teacher's Pay-Discrimination Case Over Starting Salary
The court weighed an administrator's alleged comment that the teacher's starting pay was less because her husband worked.
3 min read