Pickering v. Board of Education

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In Brief

Speaking out on public money expenditures is protected under the first amendment, and a public school teacher could not be punished for doing so.

What Happened in Court

The Court held in this case that that a public school teacher who spoke out about the expenditures of money in the school could not be terminated for doing so. By speaking out on the issue and writing a letter to the newspaper, the teacher in this case was expressing his concerns as a member of the general public about a matter of public concern. This activity is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the state therefore could not deprive the teacher of his job for exercising his right to speak out.

Related Statutes:

42 U.S.C. § 1983