The very reason for the First Amendment is to make the people of this country free to think, speak, write and worship as they wish, not as the Government commands.
— Justice Hugo L. Black




 

Attorney Michael Schultz:

The question we are actually putting to the United States Supreme Court is whether and under what circumstances do public school teachers have a right to free speech in class, or stated a little differently, whether or not the First Amendment limits a public school board's power to punish a teacher for expressing an opinion on a matter of public concern. We've not taken the position that teachers should always be able to just go into class and spout out their opinions on issues. This was a class of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. The curriculum was approved. It was Time for Kids magazine. It talked about current events. It had articles in it about differing opinions on the war. The article actually talked about protests of what President Bush was doing in December of 2002 --- January of '03, and the students naturally wanted to ask about the teacher's opinion. She made her opinion in a very limited, very professional, appropriate way and got fired for it.