Law & Courts

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

By Mark Walsh — May 15, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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 But a state official objected to his planned speech against standardized testing, and the invitation was rescinded.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

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
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts In a Chat, Two U.S. Supreme Court Justices Talk Civics, Media Literacy
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Amy Coney Barrett discussed civics education in a recorded interview presented by the Ronald Reagan Institute.
3 min read
Civics Justices 07292022 172183035
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Law & Courts Conservative Parent Group Sues School District Over Curriculum That Discusses Race and Gender
The lawsuit, among the first to cite a state law curbing discussions of those topics, could have broad implications for school districts.
9 min read
Image of a pending lawsuit.
gesrey/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Appeals Court Revives Student's Free Speech Suit Over Antisemitic Social Media Post
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reinstated a case involving an off-campus post referring to the extermination of Jews.
3 min read
Image of a gavel
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts The Supreme Court and Education: Key Rulings That Impact Schools
A recap of the court's decisions that are relevant to schools and educators.
4 min read
Paul D. Clement at the lectern for the petitioner.
A sketch by Art Lien, who just retired after a long career as a courtroom artist, shows U.S. Supreme Court arguments in April in <i>Kennedy</i> v. <i>Bremerton School District</i>, a case about a high school football coach's post-game prayers and one of several cases of interest to educators during the court's 2021-22 term.
Art Lien