« Dallas Lays Off 375 Teachers | Main | Fiscal Crisis Casualty: Class-Size Reduction »

Court Says No to Teachers' Political Buttons

A federal judge has ruled that New York City can prevent teachers from wearing political buttons in schools. The city's powerful teachers' union had filed a lawsuit Oct. 10 claiming that teachers' free speech rights were being violated when the school system asked principals to enforce a district policy banning them from wearing such buttons. Read our previous blog post here.

There was a partial victory for the union, however. Judge Lewis Kaplan said teachers may post political content on their union bulletin boards in areas that are closed to students, and that materials about candidates may be put in staff mailboxes.

United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said she's happy that the ruling protects teachers' free speech rights in schools. As for the wearing of political buttons, she said the union had already proposed a compromise to the district in which the UFT would ask its members not to wear them in classrooms.

The matter may not be closed, however. This was a preliminary ruling, and the judge might hear more evidence at a later date. Weingarten also indicated after the ruling that the union might pursue the matter further after Election Day.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments