Debro v. San Leandro Unified School District

Closed Case
Jun 28, 2002

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ACLU of Northern CA

ACLU Foundation of Northern California Amicus Brief arguing that if a school superintendent does not offend the First Amendment by retaliating for the speech at issue in this case would be to find that teachers are automatons – that every moment of class time can be scripted, and that the school administrators can control every classroom utterance even if they have no constitutional or pedagogical justification for doing so. It would handcuff educators, preventing them from teaching tolerance or responding appropriately when an issue threatens to interfere with their students’ ability to learn – be it the death of a classmate, a national emergency, or the harassment of a peer. Such a result can be avoided through a proper application of appropriate constitutional standards. Karl Debro’s efforts to make SLHS a safe and tolerant place for all students was speech of the utmost importance, and it fully warrants constitutional protection.

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