SoTL Commons Conference
According to the “germaneness standard,” public university faculty have a First Amendment protection for course-related speech, even provocative statements, when their statements or activities connect to the subject matter or pedagogy. Private university faculty have no corresponding, generalized First Amendment protection, but do have course-related speech prerogatives grounded in the tradition of academic freedom, which can be established by contract law. Students at public universities have First Amendment protection for their courserelated statements similar to public university faculty. However, according to the Hazelwood standard, learning-related student speech can be restricted when it is considered substantially disruptive to learning or is in opposition to legitimate pedagogical objectives.
Kent D. Kauffman (2017).
The First Amendment and Provocative Teaching: Lessons from the Evidence. Presented at SoTL Commons Conference, Savannah, Georgia.