The events of the past year have tempted many teachers to bring these realities into their classrooms as a way of engaging students (“Bringing Politics Into the Classroom,” The Atlantic, Dec. 2020). While I understand their intent, I remind them that doing so without prior approval can subject them to dismissal.
I’m referring now to what the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held in 2010 in Evans-Marshall v. Board of Education of Tipp City Exempted Village School District. It ruled that only school boards can determine the curriculum. Therefore, no matter how much teachers want to revamp their lesson plans, they need to rethink the consequences.
The reality is that public school teachers do not have academic freedom. Courts have consistently ruled that districts essentially hire the speech of teachers. As a result, teachers put themselves in jeopardy by ignoring the boundaries.
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