The Source: Balancing Freedom Of Speech And Maintaining Order

Nov 12, 2015

Credit WikiCommons http://bit.ly/20OXDiS

First Amendment rights may apply to all citizens, but they get tricky in the setting of public schools. Schools want to protect their educational environment but law professor Catherine J. Ross argues schools have gone too far. 

Today, schools often restrict students' speech on controversial issues like immigration, abortion rights, or gun control in favor of maintaining a safe place conducive to learning. However, previously in American history, the Supreme Court favored the students' side and their right to expression. In her book, Lessons in Censorship, Ross argues that this new shift towards silence is actually a misinterpretation of the law. She explains the historical context for these controversial decisions and why they do more damage to students. 

 Can education truly happen without freedom of speech? Where is the line between protecting students' rights and protecting their education?

Guest:

  • Catherine J. Ross, author of Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students' First Amendment Rights and law professor at George Washington University Law School