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Ch.4 Teachers and the Law


Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth (1972) U.S.

·        Able to non renew an untenured teacher with no reason

·        California 2 year probation


Pickering v. Board of Education of Township High School (1968) U.S.

·        First Amendment right of freedom of expression.

o       1. Speech must be a matter of public concern

o       2. Pickering Balance

§        Interests of the teacher must be balanced against interests of the state.


Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle (1977) U.S.

·        Non-tenured teacher has freedom of expression

·        Cannot dismiss a non-tenured teacher because of something they said on a Radio Station.

·        Tenured teachers have expectation for continued employment, but not untenured teachers

·        Cannot dismiss tenured teachers without cause for dismissal.


Levels of Scrutiny

1.     Rational Basis Test

§        Lowest standards

§        Age, Disability, Wealth, Economic, Sexual Orientation

2.     Intermediate Scrutiny

§        Medium – Gender

3.     Strict Scrutiny

§        Very Strong - Races


Fowler v. Board of Education of Lincoln County (1987) U.S.

·        F is for Fired

·        Pink Floyd movie

·        Tenured teacher fired for showing Pink Floyd movie

·        Showing movie not protected by the First Amendment


Wilson v. Chancellor (1976) US District Court, Oregon

·        Can’t restrain a teacher from using political speakers


East Hartford Ed Association v. Board of Ed of Town of E. Hartford (1977) Court of Appeals.

·        School Board has the right to mandate dress codes


Gaylord v. Tacoma School District  (1977) U.S.

·        Teacher as Exemplar

·        Homosexual teacher

·        Court upheld firing based on immorality and fitness

·        Early cases were uniformly unfavorable to homosexuals

·        Recent decisions have turned on freedom of expression issues


Erb v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction (1974) Iowa

·        Teacher lost job for adultery

·        Punishment given was for a criminal law

·        No evidence to show his affair had an adverse affect on school community


Gillett v. Unified School District (1980) U.S.

·        Tenured teacher

·        Shoplifting

·        Dismissal upheld because of teacher’s inability to handle school funds and physical and mental instability


Barcheski v. Board of Ed of Grand Rapids (1987) Court of Appeals Michigan

·        Impropriety with Students

·        Teacher invited 2 female students of his driver ed class to a party

·        Dismissal was upheld because of substantial evidence of improper or wrongful conduct.


Marshal v. Kirkland (1979) Court of Appeals

·        Gender discrimination

·        Unconstitutional sex discrimination of promoting female teachers to administrative positions.

Eckmann v. Board of Education (1986)Illinois

·        Individual rights v. State Interest

·        Can’t fire a teacher for having a child out-of-wedlock

Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association

·        Collective bargaining

·        Union dues and rights

·        Unions may collect fees, and subsidize lobbying and other political activities with dissenter’s fees.