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Summer 2008 - Student Rights

Volume 35 Issue 3  


Student Speech: The Enduring Greatness of Tinker

The Supreme Court’s decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969), did for the ideal of freedom in America’s public schools what Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), did for the ideal of equality. It made a core value of the Bill of Rights spring to life for young people facing unjust policies and authoritarian treatment at the hands of adult officials in local school systems.


Student Privacy versus Campus Security: An Overstated Conflict

The shootings at Virginia Tech are viewed as illustrative of a direct conflict between student privacy and campus security. While tension exists between these values, it is inaccurate to characterize them as directly in conflict. In fact, federal privacy protection law provides plenty of opportunities for information sharing in situations where campus security may be implicated. In addition, campuses are, for the most part, safe.


Abstinence-Only Education: Violating Students' Rights to Health Information

By censoring and distorting information and prohibiting teachers and health educators from providing factual information, abstinence-only programs raise numerous human rights and ethical concerns. There is some hope that a change in the federal administration as well as the growing body of evidence that abstinence-only programs do not work will lead to change in policy at both federal and state levels.