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NCJ Number: 150331 Find in a Library
Title: Regulating Hate Speech in Public Schools
Journal: MASC Journal  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1994)  Pages:20-21,23,27,34
Author(s): B C Shaw
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Student speech codes on college and university campuses, designed to regulate hate speech, have become highly visible and controversial in recent years, but speech codes at the elementary and secondary school levels may be more feasible.
Abstract: Proponents of speech codes praise them for their role in reducing verbal harassment and making campuses more hospitable to traditionally disempowered groups. Opponents of speech codes criticize them as violating freedom of speech. Recent court decisions have invalidated most attempts by public universities to prohibit hate speech. The fact that hate speech codes at public universities are of doubtful validity, however, does not mean they are inappropriate for public elementary and secondary schools. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions distinguish between two types of student expression. The first situation involves personal student expression, while the second situation concerns the authority of educators over school-sponsored publications and other expressive activities. Most lower court decisions have not determined that student hate speech may be prohibited based on its highly offensive message. Various theories have been advanced that advocate restricting hate speech in public schools. These theories concern such issues as disruption, student rights, fundamental values, and compelling state interests. The author concludes that school officials should not punish student speech based on disagreement with the speaker's ideology or viewpoint but should prohibit speech on viewpoint-neutral grounds that disrupts teaching or that represents inappropriate or disparaging expression.
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Campus crime; Crime in schools; Elementary school education; Freedom of speech; Hate Crimes; High school education; Higher education; Public schools; Students; US Supreme Court decisions
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