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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 163100 Find in a Library
Title: Silva v. University of New Hampshire: The Precarious Balance Between Student Hostile Environment Claims and Academic Freedom
Journal: St. John's Law Review  Volume:69  Issue:3-4  Dated:(Summer-Fall 1995)  Pages:609-632
Author(s): T E Di Domenico
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 24
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The decision of the New Hampshire District Court in the case of Silva v. University of New Hampshire erred in holding that Silva's speech was constitutionally protected; the case involved a professor's use of sexually oriented illustrations in a technical writing class and female students' filing of sexual harassment complaints.
Abstract: The court concluded that the classroom examples promoted the valid educational objective of explaining concepts related to the course and that the university's sexual harassment policy was unconstitutional because it failed to provide Silva with adequate notice that the conduct was prohibited and was not reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical aims. However, the court failed to determine whether the sexual illustrations and the class context created a hostile academic environment for the students. This case can be considered a benchmark from which to differentiate constitutionally protected faculty speech that is the product of an audacious pedagogical approach from unprotected speech that truly harasses and injures students. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Appellate court decisions
Index Term(s): Freedom of speech; Higher education; New Hampshire; Sexual harassment
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