Southeastern Legal Foundation files brief supporting educators’ First Amendment rights

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Sept. 13, 2023): Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit supporting two educators who are suing their school district for violating their First Amendment rights. While off duty, the educators engaged in public discussions about students’ rights based on sex, parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children, and other political and social matters. When their school district found out, it silenced them.

As SLF explains in its brief, public employees do not shed their right to free speech at the schoolhouse gates. Teachers and administrators have special knowledge about issues that are important to the public, and they have every right to engage in discussions on those matters in their free time. This is especially true in the public school setting, which has long been viewed as the marketplace of ideas.

School districts cannot silence their employees who want to engage in political discussions while off the job. Every American has the right to discuss matters of public concern, including public employees, and SLF will continue to support educators speaking out to protect the fundamental rights of students and parents alike.

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