Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teachers must keep political opinions out of classroom

From the Gotham Gazette:

Public school teachers have constitutional rights to wear political buttons while in school, according to the United Federation of Teachers. But not according to the United States District Court in Manhattan.

In Weingarten v. Board of Education, a case first brought in 2008, a presidential election year, the plaintiffs, United Federation of Teachers and several individual teachers, claimed that the school chancellor’s regulations banning campaign buttons and distribution of political materials among teachers in Board of Education buildings, i.e., schools, violated the teachers' free speech rights under the federal and state constitutions. (The case refers to the Board of Education throughout -- not the Department of Education.)

The chancellor's regulations provided that "while on duty or in contact with students, all school personnel should maintain a posture of complete neutrality with respect to all candidates.” The regulation also banned the distribution, posting, of displaying of "material supporting any candidate, candidates, slate of candidates, or political organizations/committees" in any school building. While there were exceptions for political items of interest that might appear in teachers’ newsletters, for example, the regulation generally prevented teachers from placing political material in colleagues' mailboxes or on teachers’ bulletin boards in teachers' meeting places.

[Judge Lewis A.] Kaplan found plaintiffs' contentions lacked merit and dismissed the suit without it ever going to trial. In his written opinion, he said that policy makers overseeing "public schools are constitutionality permitted, within reason, to regulate the speech of teachers in the classroom for legitimate pedagogical reasons." The court then concluded that the appearance of political buttons worn by teachers, "may improperly influence children and impinge on the rights of students to learn in an environment free of partisan political influence."

The judge found that the regulation, when carried out in a professional manner and in good faith, is not a "covert attempt to favor one viewpoint over another." After more than a year of litigation, he declared the regulations to be constitutional.

12 comments:

me said...

This is such stupid crap. There is no such thing as "neutrality." Seriously now... it is your constitutional right. Everything and every1 represents some sort of viewpoint. Every time a student asked me for my personal opinion I gave it. When a student asked me who I was going to vote for I said Ralph Nader. Student said, who? = a learning moment.

Anonymous said...

do you think that liberal leaning teachers would ever give low marks or failures to pupils who show conservative viewpoints in class discussion or tests ?

Gary the Agnostic said...

Do you think conservative leaning teachers would ever give low marks or failures to pupils who show liberal viewpoints in class discussion or tests?

Anonymous said...

Children should never feel pressured to espouse the particular ideology of any teacher. School is supposed to be a safe, unthreatening place of learning.

I have been discriminated against by academics who disagreed with my politically. This is okay on a college level where you can appeal grades or drop classes, but not in mandated public education.

primadonna said...

Bloomstench need not worry. No teacher in NYC will ever be sporting a Bloomberg pin. I can guarantee that. He's probably afraid they'd wear a giant button with his stupid face on it and a big ol' red slash across it.

Interesting how Randi will defend a teacher's right to wear a button, but not a teacher right to not be abused by their boss. Hmmmmmm.

Yes, and the "Board of Ed."? What's that about?

Anonymous said...

Me: Hey Gary the Agnostic, stop repeating everything I said.

Gary: Hey annonymous, stop repeating everything I said.

Me: Stop that, it is annoying.

Gary: Stop that, it is annoying.

Anonymous said...

Just need to make one comment - when does the school administrators ever give a S---t about Chancellor's Regulations? They are only referenced when inappropriate otherwise they are ignored .

Gary the Agnostic said...

Anonymous said...
Me: Hey Gary the Agnostic, stop repeating everything I said.

Gary: Hey annonymous, stop repeating everything I said.

Me: Stop that, it is annoying.

Gary: Stop that, it is annoying.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
----------------------------------

One different word. read carefully.

Klink Cannoli said...

Thank you, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Sometimes a slap across the face is needed for those not thinking clearly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Me: Hey Gary the Agnostic, stop repeating everything I said.

Gary: Hey annonymous, stop repeating everything I said.

Me: Stop that, it is annoying.

Gary: Stop that, it is annoying.

Thursday, February 11, 2010
----------------------------------

One different word. read carefully.
-----------------------------------
The names were switched in my example to match your one word change. So I guess I DID read carefully.

Anonymous said...

One word here, one word there. It doesn't matter, Gary the Agnostic, you are an annoying putz.

Anonymous said...

Children are compelled to attend government schools. Why should they be compelled to hear the BS from ignorant union reps. You can huge 'em, you can lub 'em, but they they still are STUPID union reps. With a shred of common sense they could achieve their goals but always too stupid to do so.