Is it legal for teachers and school administrators to wear buttons that say "vote YES for Prop K", while they are teaching, and children are present? Prop K is a 50$million dollar bond issue for the school district that will raise the real estate taxes of our school disrtict homeowners. This bond issue is on the Nov. 4 ballot. Thanks Joan
This is my first inquiry. I have talked to school board officials, and the founding member of the organization that has provided the campaign buttons the teachers and administrators are wearing.
I hope this message finds you well. Great question! A Federal District Court judge in Manhatten ruled just this month that it is illegal for teachers to wear political buttons in the class room if prohibited by the school district. They are given other avenues to express political stances, but these should be kept away from the students.
Now this should not be construed to be the "law of the land" as a US Supreme Court case might be, but it certainly has made news across the nation. The judge ruled that it should be up to the individual school districts to allow or disallow teachers from wearing political buttons.
This ruling has caused sparks as it somewhat conflicts with the US Supreme Court's Tinker case from nearly 40 years ago which stated that "neither teachers or students shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate."
In short, if the school district has a prohibition on this activity, it can most likely be stopped. However, if there is no ban within the school district, it will be allowed.
Thanks for the opportunity to answer your question.
Kindest regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes,
9 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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