The First Amendment in the Classroom

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a teacher’s claim that a local school board violated her First Amendment right “to select books and methods of instruction for use in the classroom without interference from public officials” by failing to renew her contract after a series of conflicts over her choice of reading assignments for her high school classes.  Judge Sutton’s opinion in Evans-Marshall v. Board of Education begins:

Does a public high school teacher have a First (and Fourteenth) Amendment right “to select books and methods of instruction for use in the classroom without interference from public officials”? Yes, says the teacher, Shelley Evans-Marshall. No, says the Tipp City Board of Education. Because the right to free speech protected by the First Amendment does not extend to the in-class curricular speech of teachers in primary and secondary schools made “pursuant to” their official duties, Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410, 421 (2006), we affirm the judgment rejecting this claim as a matter of law.