California teachers stand to get more protection this fall under a bill meant to keep high school and college administrators from retaliating against them for protecting student free speech or expression.
It had been a long day at school for Avery Doninger. Her principal, Karissa Niehoff, told her about scheduling conflicts the school was having with "Jamfest" -- a battle of the bands contest Doninger worked to coordinate as junior class secretary for her Burlington, Conn., high school. Doninger believed because of those conflicts, the event would be effectively canceled.
If retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has her way, students across the country will be donning controversial T-shirts and unrepentantly violating school dress codes ' in a virtual sense, at least.
It is a routine practice for people looking for internships and jobs. One letter after another, they carefully type their names into Google and hit "Enter" to delve up their pasts. High school sprinting records. Scholarship announcements. And a mention in the university police blotter for underage drinking?
Inside, American flags will drape over the walls while balloons float to the floor below. Music will keep the mood light and delegates on their feet. Outside, protesters will rattle chain-link fences and scream insults as riot police stand ready to squash violent protests.
It might be impossible to predict just how the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates would act as commander in chief, but looking at what Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have done in their careers could give potential voters a clue.
Proposed changes to the regulations governing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act could result in denying access to information that would be crucial to keep schools accountable, some First Amendment advocates say.
High school journalism depends on minors consenting to interviews. In Claremont, Calif., a high school junior told the student newspaper she supported a new law banning cell phones while driving. A freshman at a Jewish day school in Rockville, Md., discussed morality and capital punishment with her student publication. And in Palo Alto, Calif., a student newspaper quoted a high school junior on his feelings about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
Courts in two recent cases have reaffirmed that university professors and administrators are public figures who face heavy burdens when trying to claim they were harmed by information published or circulated about them.
A tenured law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock believes his students caused substantial and irreparable injury to his reputation. So he is taking them to court.