At last count, 12 states have passed laws restricting what public schools can teach in their classrooms (“Debates, Books on Race and U.S. History Ensnare Teachers,” The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 24). Both the NEA and AFT have filed suit claiming that such laws violate free speech rights of teachers.
But the truth is that public school teachers have not been able to make such decisions. In 2010, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit made that quite clear when it held that because teachers are employees of a school district, only the school board can make that decision. In short, school boards hire the speech of teachers.
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