STUDENT Freedom of Expression
All people in the United States are guaranteed the right of freedom of expression as written in the United States Constitution.
Students, however, do not have this right to the same extent as adults. This is because public schools are required to protect all students at the school. The major aspects of this right are speech and dress. Both the right to speech and dress are not absolute in public high schools. According to the American Civil Liberties Union: "You (students) have a right to express your opinions as long as you do so in a way that doesn't 'materially and substantially' dirsupt classes or other school activities. If you hold a protest on the school steps and block the entrance to the building, school officials can stop you. They can probably also stop you from using language they think is 'vulgar or indecent'("Ask Sybil Liberty" ACLU 1998).
Public schools can also restrict student dress. In 1987 in Harper v. Edgewood Board of Education the court upheld "a dress regulation that required students to 'dress in conformity wit h the accepted standards of the community'". This means that schools can restrict clothing with vulgarities and such, but they cannot restrict religious clothing: "School officials must accomodate student's religious beliefs by permitting the wearing of religious clothing when such clothing must be worn during the school day as a part of the student's religious practice".
If you feel that yor right of freedom of expression has been violated, please contact us for a Free Student Freedom of Expression Consultation.