Recent Decisions - SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

Journal of Law and Education, October 2011 | Go to article overview

Recent Decisions - SUPREME COURT DECISIONS


Review Denied

Decisions without published opinions in lower court

DOCKET NO: 10-1056

NAME: Doe v. Silsbee lndep. Sch. Dist.

DATE CERT. DENIED: May 2, 2011

CITATION: 131 S. Ct. 2875

Decisions with published opinion in lower court

DOCKET NO: 10-1305

NAME: Evans-Marshall v. Bd. ofEduc. of Tipp City Exempted Village Sch. Dist.

DATE CERT. DENIED: June 27, 2011

CITATION: - S. Ct. -, 79 U.S.L.W. 3727

Teacher brought §1983 action against school board, superintendent, and principal alleging defendants retaliated against her for exercising her First Amendment right in making curricular choices. Evans-Marshall was hired to teach ninth grade and eleventh grade English. During the 20012002 school year, she assigned the book Fahrenheit 451 and led students in a discussion about censorship. She asked students to pick books from the American Library Association's 100 most frequently banned books list and explain why the particular book was banned. Several parents complained about the book Heather Has Two Mommies. She was asked by the principal to have the students pick another book. She picked Siddhartha. Over 100 parents complained, and attended a school board meeting to voice their complaints. Later that year, the school principal questioned her choices for student writing assignment samples. Her annual review was poor and she filed a written grievance with the superintendent. At the March 2002 school board meeting, the board voted not to renew her contract. Evans-Marshall filed suit claiming retaliation. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the school board and officials. Evans-Marshall appealed. Held: Teachers' speech is made as part ofofficial duties and as such is subject to discipline by school boards. The court found that school boards hire a teacher's "speech" and have the right to regulate the content of that speech in the classroom. The board of education was within its rights to decide not to renew Evans-Marshall's contract based on the board's concerns over the speech she expressed in the classroom. Evans-Marshall v. Bd. ofEduc. of Tipp City Exempted Village Sch. Dist., 624 F.3d 332 (6th Cir. 2010), cert, den., - SCt. -, 79 U.S.L.W. 3727(2011).

DOCKET NO: 10-1214

NAME: Freedom from Relig. Found, v. U. S.

DATE CERT. DENIED: June 13, 2011

CITATION: 79 U.S.L.W. 3696

Parents and parents' group sued New Hampshire school districts, claiming state's School Patriot Act violated their equal protection, due process, and free exercise rights and violated Establishment Clause. The School Patriot act contained a clause requiring schools to set aside time each school day for voluntary recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. A Parents group, Freedom from Religion Foundation (The Foundation), filed suit in 2008 against the United States, Hanover and Dresden School Districts and the school administrative unit. The district court granted the federal government's motion to dismiss the U.S. as a defendant. The Foundation subsequently dropped the suit against the school administrative unit, leaving only the school districts. The district court dismissed all of the Foundation's federal claims. The Foundation appealed. Held: New Hampshire statute did not violate establishment clause, or violate any equal protection, due process, or free exercise rights. The court found that the voluntary nature of participation allowed students who did not wish to recite the pledge the opportunity to refrain from so doing. The court also found that being in the room while others were reciting the pledge did not violate the student's equal protection or due process rights. Freedom from Relig. Found, v. Hanover Sch. Dist., 626 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2010), cert, den., - S.Ct. -, 79 U.S.L.W. 3696 (2011).

DOCKET NO: 10-1029

NAME: Martinez v. Regents of the U. of Calif.

DATE CERT. DENIED: June 6, 2011

CITATION: 79 U. …

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