"Legitimate Pedagogical cONERN"....WHAT?
For years, students were protected by a high standard of freedom of expression based on the Supreme Court’s historic 1969 ruling in the Tinker case, in which the Court ruled that school officials couldn’t prevent students from expressing their opinions on school grounds, as long as they didn’t (a) cause a material or substantial disruption of the school environment, or (b) intrude on the rights of others. However, in the ruling of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court established a new standard of protection for student expression, by ruling that schools may limit the personal expression of students if their speech can be perceived to bear the imprimatur of the school. Writing for the majority, Justice Byron White said "censorship of school-sponsored student expression is permissible when school officials can show that it is reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns." But what is a "legitimate pedagogical concerns? And what do these concerns consist of? The phrase "legitimate pedagogical concerns" is not defined by any court or federal statutes, so basically it becomes up to the administration to decide what they find to be a "legitimate concern." This gives administrations a huge deal of power. Topics such as drug use, teenage pregnancy, abortion, divorce, and many others are some of the most commonly censored articles in high schools, but the question still remains are they really "pedagogical concerns," or is this just a way for schools to protect themselves? To see what others think about this question click here.