Speak Up! - View Question #453

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Question: Is it unconstitutional for teachers to make you turn my shirt inside out?

Answer: No. School's need to maintain a safe environment for students and teachers. The right to free speech is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. However, when spoken words are abusive, offensive or the language is unacceptable, your right to free speech may be limited.

Students' rights and the need for safe school environment may sometimes come in conflict. In such cases, the courts have determined that students may have their rights limited.

Schools can set up rules and policies that outline the disciplinary system. For a school rule to be enforceable, it should be in the school's policy manual, and the school must distribute the manual to students. The best way to find out what your school's policies and rules are is to get a copy of the school's policy manual. You can request a copy from the administrative office at the school.

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