Thesis: Students Rights

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¶ … Bill of Rights been applied to public higher education?

The Bill of Rights applies explicitly to state-funded public institutions. Public institutions of higher learning must refrain from the "establishment" of religion, the endorsement of religion, or the prohibition of religious expression. The First Amendment also guarantees no "abridging" of freedom of speech or freedom of press. Institutions of higher learning cannot infringe on "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" and right to "petition the government" either. Therefore, when drafting codes of behavior on public school campuses, administrators must remain cognizant of case law and precedent related to First Amendment issues. State institutions must, for example, recognize the right of students to freely assemble on campus.

What are Student's Rights in:

a. freedom of speech

Content-based restrictions on freedom of speech are subject to some limitations, such as direct "true" threats, obscenity and child pornography (Kaplan & Lee 2007, p. 387). However, freedom of speech is protected by the expression and press clauses in the First Amendment of the Constitution as well as in the constitutions of some individual states. Moreover, students also have the right to peaceably assemble as in public political protests. Freedom of expression also applies to symbolic acts as well as actual words such as with musical or artistic expression. The "unique interests of academic communities" such as their educational missions may in some cases limit freedoms of expression: if free expression can be directly linked to a disruption of the academic environment (Kaplan & Lee 2007, p. 477).

b. freedom of the press

The freedom of press clause of the First Amendment protects students from being censored and prohibits school administrators from controlling or coercing the content in student newspapers (Kaplan & Lee 2007, p 547).

c. privacy (search and seizure):'emerging areas of more recent significance'

Students are protected by constitutional rights regarding privacy on campus as well as off-campus.

d. freedom of speech, religion and student fees

Generally, campus organizations on public universities must fulfill "viewpoint neutrality" if they seek to collect mandatory student fees. Student fees can be collected for viewpoint neutral purposes, as long as the university outlines clearly and specifically how such funds will be allocated and offers students opportunities for objection and appeals (Kaplan & Lee 2007, p. 523). Public institutions are not permitted to show favoritism regarding funds allocations either. However, religiously-oriented student organizations are protected by freedom of speech, expression, and assembly rights in general.

f. organization recognition

The right to organize is protected by the First Amendment as both freedom of association and freedom of expression (Kaplan & Lee 513). State-sponsored universities are therefore required to officially recognize student organizations as being an expression of core First Amendment rights. Students… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Students Rights.  (2009, April 19).  Retrieved October 16, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Students Rights."  19 April 2009.  Web.  16 October 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Students Rights."  April 19, 2009.  Accessed October 16, 2019.