"Educators do not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over the style and content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.”

 

Justice White, speaking for the majority

 


This case explores the legal concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of press. 

Hazelwood East High School Principal Robert Reynolds reviewed Spectrum, the school’s student-written newspaper, before publication. In May 1983, he decided to have certain pages pulled because of the sensitive content in two of the articles and acted quickly to remove them in order to meet the paper’s publication deadline. The journalism students felt that this censorship was a direct violation of their First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court decided that Principal Reynolds had the right to such editorial decisions, as he had “legitimate pedagogical concerns.”



This section is for students. Use the links below to download classroom-ready .PDFs of case resources and activities. 


About the Case

Full Case Summaries

A thorough summary of case facts, issues, relevant constitutional provisions/statutes/precedents, arguments for each side, decision, and case impact.

Case Background and Vocabulary

Important background information and related vocabulary terms.

Visuals

Decision

Learning Activities

The Case

After the Case

This section is for teachers.

Use the links below to access:

  • student versions of the activities in .PDF and Word formats
  • how to differentiate and adapt the materials
  • how to scaffold the activities
  • how to extend the activities
  • technology suggestions
  • answers to select activities  

About the Case


Learning Activities

The Case

After the Case


Teacher Resources

Teaching Strategies Used

Landmark Cases Glossary

The LandmarkCases.org glossary compiles all of the important vocab terms from case materials. It is provided as a view-only Google Sheet.

Glossary

Planning Time and Activities

If you have one day . . .

  • Read the background summary (•••, ••, •) and answer the questions.
  • Complete the Classifying Arguments Activity. Discuss which arguments the students find most convincing.
  • For homework, have students read the Key Excerpts from the Majority Opinion and Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion and answer the questions. Follow-up the next day by reviewing the questions with students.

If you have two days . . .

  • Complete all activities for the first day (excluding the homework)
  • On the second day, complete Applying Precedents Activity.
  • Complete the Debate Activity.
  • For homework, have students read the Key Excerpts from the Majority Opinion and Key Excerpts from the Dissenting Opinion and answer the questions. Follow-up the next day by reviewing the questions with students.

If you have three days . . .

  • Complete the activities for the first and second days (including homework).
  • On the third day, in Advanced classes complete the Analyzing Oral Argument Questions Activity and in on-level classes, complete the What Would You Do? Activity.

If you have four days . . .

  • Complete the activities for the first, second, and third days.
  • On the fourth day, complete Should the State Enact Anti-Hazelwood Legislation?
  • Complete the Cartoon Analysis Activity.
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