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At issue in Pickering v. Board of Education of Township High School District 205, Will County (1968) was whether a school board's dismissal of a public school teacher for expressing his opinion about actions taken by the board and its administration violated his First Amendment rights to free speech. In Pickering, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “absent proof of false statements knowingly or recklessly made” (p. 574), a teacher's statements on public issues can't be used as grounds for dismissal in public schools. According to the Court, teachers are entitled to speak as citizens on matters of public interest, including controversial issues in their own school districts, and their comments on those issues may not be the reason for dismissals even when they are ...

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