Free Speech and EducationKivel & Howard LLP
Read: Pompeo Opinion
It is well settled that the First Amendment right to free speech exists in the university classroom – even when a student’s viewpoint clashes with the professor. The lesson here is that if a state college or university professor opens up a classroom debate to all viewpoints, then the professor cannot then punish the student for expressing a viewpoint the professor deems inflammatory and offensive. The state college or university is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one, however enlightened either purpose may strike the government.