To read this content please select one of the options below:

Free Speech in the Balance: What Do We Know About the Rights of Public School Teachers

1Bowling Green State University
2Athens State University

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 1 July 2008

Issue publication date: 1 July 2008



This paper presents an overview of what we have learned about the state of academic freedom in the public schools. It includes a rationale for the place of academic freedom in social studies classrooms, a perspective on the court system as recourse for teachers, and a call for action to protect our freedoms by alternative means. Based on a National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) presentation by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Fritz Mulhauser, the paper provides a thematic summary of case law and precedent as they stand at present, including speech outside of school, classroom materials and content, classroom discussion, and expression through dress. Finally, the paper offers suggestions of how to exercise academic freedom successfully in the classroom.


Patterson, N.C. and Chandler, P.T. (2008), "Free Speech in the Balance: What Do We Know About the Rights of Public School Teachers", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 90-102.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles