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Givhan v. Western Line Consolidated School District (1979) addressed a teacher's right to free speech under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court found that public employees are permitted within specific boundaries to express their opinions, whether positive or negative, without fear of reprisal. The court identified the need to balance the teacher's constitutional right on a matter of public concern and the interests of the employer. The constitutional freedom of speech is not lost to public employees when communicating privately with their employers, the Court decided.

Facts of the Case

In Givhan, a teacher went into the principal's office and expressed her opinion regarding the school's hiring practices and policies, which she believed were racially discriminatory. School officials claimed that during the meeting with the ...

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