Free Speech and Expression Rights of Students

Students in public colleges and universities enjoy a constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment. Even so, the nature of this right varies greatly depending on the context in which students raise speech claims. Student organizations also enjoy First Amendment protection. Once public institutions create limited open forums for student groups, officials may not deny recognition to particular groups based on the groups' viewpoints. Yet because the right to freedom of expression is not absolute in higher education, the courts have permitted officials to impose reasonable time, manner, and place regulations on the speech of students and their organizations. In light of the array of issues that have arisen on campuses, this entry highlights key litigation dealing with the First Amendment speech ...

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