Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The First Amendment And The Teacher Who Blogs

Should teachers who write blogs be held accountable for what they publish on their own time? And should disgruntled readers be allowed to complain to the teacher's employers?

Darren, a high school teacher who posts over at Right on the Left Coast, is having quite a discussion with a parent who is threatening to bring Darren's writing to the attention of his superintendent, principal, union, and the "education community."

Read the comments in part I and especially part II. (Scroll down to view the comments.) The posts themselves don't have any graphics but part I links to pictures of a nude anti-war protest in Berkeley and part II links to another blog's post featuring two amorous canines.

In the first post, (the one that set this whole thing off) Darren does warn readers about the nudity that will be seen by following the link.

There are a number of issues raised by this controversy. When classroom teachers are off the clock can they be forced to answer for expressing their political opinions, journalistic endeavors, or artistic work? And can they be held professionally liable for behavior that is not illegal as long as that behavior is conducted outside the scope of their employment?

Food for thought.
Entries for the 26th edition of The Carnival Of Education are due tonight by 10:00PM (Eastern) 7:00 PM (Pacific). Please send entries to: owlshome [at] earthlink [dot] net. The Carnival's midway should open here at the 'Wonks Wednesday morning.

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