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Appeals court won't apply Hazelwood to teacher trainee's case, instead creates new "professional standards" exception

(12/29/15 5:47pm)

A federal appeals court sided with the University of Hawaii's dismissal of a student who made unprofessional comments that the university believed rendered him unfit to enter the teaching profession. The ruling appears to lower the bar for the protection of students' speech when enrolled in a pre-professional program, enabling colleges to remove those students even without showing that their speech was unlawful or disruptive.

New federal rule would protect college journalists from IRB demands to review their "research"

(12/27/15 8:07pm)

Federal rules require "research" involving "human subjects" to be approved by colleges' Institutional Review Boards. Overzealous colleges occasionally have insisted that student journalists submit their surveys or questionnaires for institutional pre-approval, violating basic principles of press freedom. The SPLC is urging the federal government to adopt a proposal categorically removing journalism from the purview of IRBs.

Get it off your chest? Not anymore. LGBT rights can be debated on T-shirts in schools.

(12/31/15 12:47pm)

Students' First Amendment right to wear T-shirts with social or political statements is a fiercely disputed issue that regularly ends up in court. A new ruling from Tennessee adds to the consensus that speech on a T-shirt cannot be banned as "disruptive" just because it addresses an issue of social controversy such as LGBT rights.