An Idaho state court judge ruled in October that a SCHOOL DISTRICT’S POLICY PROHIBITING TEACHERS FROM TALKING WITH THE MEDIA DURING THE SCHOOL DAY WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Seventh District Judge Brent Moss struck down the Jefferson County School District policy that prohibited teachers from calling any media or from being interviewed during working hours. The policy also required that administrators pre-approve all press coverage.
“Disallowing teachers the right to speak with media during those times in the day when it would not cause classroom interruption or interfere with school activities would violate the Constitution…. Because the term ‘working hours’ is vague, it may have the effect of restraining teachers from exercising their right to free speech,” the judge wrote.
Over the past several years, the SPLC has encountered a number of such “gag rules” at both high schools and even at some colleges and universities. This decision is good news not just for advisers and other teachers who may wish to engage in public commentary