Skip to main content

Home/ Diigo In Education/ Contents contributed and discussions participated by Tara Heath

Contents contributed and discussions participated by Tara Heath

Tara Heath

Know Your Rights | Students' Rights | American Civil Liberties Union - 1 views

  • Do I have First Amendment rights in school? You have the right to speak out, hand out flyers and petitions, and wear expressive clothing in school — as long as you don’t disrupt the functioning of the school or violate school policies that don’t hinge on the message expressed. What counts as “disruptive” will vary by context, but a school disagreeing with your position or thinking your speech is controversial or in “bad taste” is not enough to qualify. Courts have upheld students’ rights to wear things like an anti-war armband, an armband opposing the right to get an abortion, and a shirt supporting the LGBTQ community. Schools can have rules that have nothing to do with the message expressed, like dress codes. So, for example, a school can prohibit you from wearing hats — because that rule is not based on what the hats say — but it can’t prohibit you from wearing only pink pussycat hats or pro-NRA hats. Outside of school, you enjoy essentially the same rights to protest and speak out as anyone else. This means you’re likely to be most protected if you organize, protest, and advocate for your views off campus and outside of school hours. You have the right to speak your mind on social media, and your school cannot punish you for content you post off campus and outside of school hours that does not relate to school.
  • Can my school tell me what I can and cannot wear based on my gender? Public schools can have dress codes, but under federal law dress codes can’t treat students differently based on their gender, force students to conform to sex stereotypes, or censor particular viewpoints. Schools can’t create a dress code based on the stereotype that only girls can wear some types of clothes and only boys can wear other types of clothes. For example, your school can require that skirts must be a certain length, but it cannot require that some students wear skirts and prohibit others from doing so based on the students’ sex or gender expression. That also applies to pants, ties, or any other clothing associated with traditional gender roles. Dress codes also must be enforced equally. For example, rules against “revealing” clothing, such as bans on tank tops or leggings, shouldn’t be enforced only or disproportionately against girls. All students should be allowed to wear clothing consistent with their gender identity and expression, whether they identify as transgender or cisgender. This also applies to homecoming, prom, graduation, and other special school events. Schools shouldn’t require different types of clothing for special events based on students’ sex or gender identity — for example, requiring tuxedos for boys and prom dresses for girls.
  • Can my school discipline me for participating in a walkout? Because the law in most places requires students to go to school, schools can discipline you for missing class. But schools cannot discipline you more harshly because of the message or the political nature of your action. The punishment you could face will vary by your state, school district, and school. If you’re planning to miss a class or two, look up the policy for unexcused absences for your school and school district. If you’re considering missing several days, read about truancy. Also take a look at the policy for suspensions. If you are facing a suspension of 10 days or more, you have a right to a formal process and can be represented by a lawyer. Some states and school districts require a formal process for fewer days. You should be given the same right to make up work just as any other student who missed classes.
Tara Heath

Hate Speech and Hate Crime | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues - 3 views

  • There is no legal definition of "hate speech" under U.S. law, just as there is no legal definition for evil ideas, rudeness, unpatriotic speech, or any other kind of speech that people might condemn. Generally, however, hate speech is any form of expression through which speakers intend to vilify, humiliate, or incite hatred against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, religion, skin color sexual identity, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, or national origin. 1 In the United States, hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. Courts extend this protection on the grounds that the First Amendment requires the government to strictly protect robust debate on matters of public concern even when such debate devolves into distasteful, offensive, or hateful speech that causes others to feel grief, anger, or fear. (The Supreme Court's decision in Snyder v. Phelps provides an example of this legal reasoning.) Under current First Amendment jurisprudence, hate speech can only be criminalized when it directly incites imminent criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person or group. Hate Crime For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity,” including skin color and national origin.  Hate crimes are overt acts that can include acts of violence against persons or property, violation or deprivation of civil rights, certain "true threats," or acts of intimidation, or conspiracy to commit these crimes. The Supreme Court has upheld laws that either criminalize these acts or impose a harsher punishment when it can be proven that the defendant targeted the victim because of the victim's race, ethnicity, identity, or beliefs.  A hate crime is more than than offensive speech or conduct; it is specific criminal behavior that ranges from property crimes like vandalism and arson to acts of intimidation, assault, and murder.  Victims of hate crimes can include institutions, religious organizations and government entities as well as individuals.
  •  
    "Hate Speech There is no legal definition of "hate speech" under U.S. law, just as there is no legal definition for evil ideas, rudeness, unpatriotic speech, or any other kind of speech that people might condemn. Generally, however, hate speech is any form of expression through which speakers intend to vilify, humiliate, or incite hatred against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, religion, skin color sexual identity, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, or national origin. 1 In the United States, hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. Courts extend this protection on the grounds that the First Amendment requires the government to strictly protect robust debate on matters of public concern even when such debate devolves into distasteful, offensive, or hateful speech that causes others to feel grief, anger, or fear. (The Supreme Court's decision in Snyder v. Phelps provides an example of this legal reasoning.) Under current First Amendment jurisprudence, hate speech can only be criminalized when it directly incites imminent criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person or group. Hate Crime For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity," including skin color and national origin.  Hate crimes are overt acts that can include acts of violence against persons or property, violation or deprivation of civil rights, certain "true threats," or acts of intimidation, or conspiracy to commit these crimes. The Supreme Court has upheld laws that either criminalize these acts or impose a harsher punishment when it can be proven that the defendant targeted the victim because of the victim's race, ethnicity, identity, or beliefs.  A hate crime is more than than offensive speech
1 - 3 of 3
Showing 20 items per page