Teachers & Students Speech Rights

The Issue

Teachers and students have limited rights to freedom of expression. The restrictions on teachers are unique in that they apply not only in their work at school but also in their personal lives. Limiting the right to speak, to express their views, and to question conventional wisdom and popular ideology implicitly teaches about society’s lack of commitment to civil liberties.

Why It Matters

Two basic purposes of education are the development of critical thinking skills and preparation for being an active citizen in democratic society. Our schools undermine these objectives when they offer instruction but fail to be models of democratic values. 

Our Work

The Centre for Free Expression is exploring the extent of restrictions on speech rights of teachers and students in Canadian schools. It is fostering discussions with educators and the public about how schools can better achieve their educational objectives through enhanced freedom of expression rights for teachers and students.

Resources

Blog Post

Teaching in the Shadow of Conspiracy Theories

Some years ago, a high school history teacher I know told me that he had received an essay that supported Holocaust denial.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin

Podcast

Transforming "Call Out" Culture

Loretta Ross  - In Conversation with Asam Ahmad​

Past Event

Anti-Black Racism and Inequality: What Is to Be Done?

Adolph Reed, Jr. - In Conversation with Umair Muhammad

Blog Post

The Kids Are Not All Right: Freedom of Expression and the Online Classroom

I don’t want to read one more piece that begins, “In these difficult (unprecedented, challenging, etc.)  times,” and neither do you.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin

Blog Post

Educating for Democracy in the Time of COVID-19

For those of us who have young people in our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic can present a unique opportunity to engage them in exercises that focus on democracy.

By Danielle S. McLaughlin