Students' Rights and Teachers' Responsibilities

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The responsibilities of a teacher vary differently from teacher to teacher, from state to state, and even from country to country. As an aspiring teacher, it is of the up-most importance to fully understand the responsibilities that come along with the title. It is also important to understand the how those responsibilities interact and influence that rights and responsibilities of the students being taught. One controversial issue involves the infringement of students First Amendment Rights when it comes to censorship of student’s news articles. So is this act violating the rights of students or merely protecting the learning environment? Thanks to educational devices such as schoolhouse rock, most children are fairly informed on the constitutional rights –at least as far as the Bills of Rights is concerned. The First Amendment allows United States Citizens the freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly; this is usually grouped in Freedom of Expression. The big question is, does the First Amendment apply to school-sponsored student publications? This issue was decided in 1988 Supreme Court Case Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which ruled in favor of the School District, stating that school officials can censor school-sponsored student publications when they have legitimate educational concerns (Hazelwood, 2006). This does limit the rights of students however; it does not distinguish them all together. Students still have their freedom of speech/press rights; however, will be subject to school approval when using a school-affiliated medium such as a school newspaper or broadcast. This means that as a future teacher, it will be my obligation to determine if the subject matter of a student’s news article is an educational concern and take the appropriate action. Is this unfair? No, students’ rights have not been taken away, students still have the right to write and publish the articles they right, however, they will have to do it separate...
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