“Now teachers have an absolute desk reference that could be called ‘How to Stay in the Classroom and Out of the Courtroom!”

—John Casper, District Achievement Gap Coordinator Kentucky Department of Education

“Reading this book is the next best thing to taking a class on education law. It could well serve as the resource for such a class!”

—Deanna Brunlinger, Science Teacher Elkhorn Area High School, WI

Everything teachers need to know about education law

Do you know what you can and can't do and say in your school? Most teacher education programs offer little, if any, instruction on education law. When teachers need advice regarding employment or instructional issues, they may find the search frustrating, time-consuming, or costly. Teachers will find the answers to their most frequently asked legal questions in this easy-to-read book. Key topics include:

Certification, tenure, evaluation, and dismissal; Collective bargaining and teacher contracts; Constitutional rights of teachers; Discrimination and harassment; Academic freedom; Grading policy and integrity of student records; Copyright law; Safety.

Also covered are tort liability, teachers' responsibilities regarding the safety and well-being of their students, and teachers' protection from defamation. Educators will find practical suggestions, vignettes, and summaries of judicial opinions with real-world applications. Don't wait for a problem to arise. Read this book and be prepared.

Basic Constitutional Rights and Freedoms

Basic constitutional rights and freedoms

Key Concepts in this Chapter

  • Free Speech Rights
  • Rights of Association
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Privacy Rights
  • Due Process


The U.S. Constitution outlines the basic rights of all Americans. Teachers enjoy their constitutional rights even when they are within the walls of public school buildings.1 Even so, school officials may curtail the constitutional rights of teachers when there is a legitimate governmental interest in doing so. Although school boards cannot insist that teachers surrender their basic rights as a prerequisite for employment, since teachers are in sensitive positions, some limitations may be placed on their full exercise of those rights, particularly in the classrooms where, for example, they may not endorse political candidates or profess their religious beliefs.

This chapter is not intended to ...

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