With a particularly contentious election season at fever pitch, many school administrators long for an educational atmosphere completely void of potentially controversial speech, but a quick glance at the First Amendment should quash dreams of being able to prohibit all political speech in the school setting. That said, some limitations can legally be imposed on political speech both within the school setting and externally.
Context: Public vs. Private School
The First Amendment prohibits governmental restrictions on free speech, which means that public schools, including charter schools that qualify as public, cannot infringe on teachers’ or students’ rights to freedom of expression. Private schools are not prohibited by the First Amendment from imposing limitations on the free speech of teachers or students.
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