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Exposing the Crucial Role of Constitutional Rights in Schools

Updated: May 4

As an education attorney, I have always been fascinated by the interdisciplinary study of constitutional law with educational law. It’s why I left teaching. The administration was surely sick of me encouraging students to protest for their rights and then refuse to help shut the protests down. But they tried to cancel Black History Month. You can’t do that.

Con law issues are everywhere in schools. In colleges, you see them crop up in the limited due process of those honor board hearings that don’t permit representation, in the Title IX reporting procedures that need improvement, and in the efforts of schools to balance safety and students’ rights on campus.

From the right to bear arms to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly, 1A rights in particular have played a profound role in shaping the academic experiences of the modern American student.

If you want to delve into a great case, I recommend Tinker v. Des Moines, where the Supreme Court held that neither students nor teachers “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” as long as the expression does not disrupt the learning environment or interfere with the rights of others. Especially in the current climate where students are actively challenging and defending their freedoms, it’s worth the read.

If you're planning to go to law school, here's a list of where to access the best constitutional law programs in the country:

Even if you’re not planning to go to law school, take some time to understand the legal framework that shapes the American academic experience. It can be an empowering and enlightening journey. And who knows, along the way, you might get inspired to study law. ✨


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